Viewing cable 05TELAVIV3970
Title: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05TELAVIV39702005-06-24 10:52:00 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 06 TEL AVIV 003970 
 
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 
 
-------------------------------- 
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT: 
-------------------------------- 
 
¶1.  Mideast 
 
¶2.  Africa:  International Aid 
 
------------------------- 
Key stories in the media: 
------------------------- 
 
All major newspapers, except Jerusalem Post, led with a 
leaked report that the IDF and police have decided to 
raid the Maoz Hayam Hotel in the Gaza Strip settlement 
of Neve Dekalim, rather that wait until the 
disengagement plan is under way.  The media reported 
that dozens of activists have rushed to join the 
stronghold.  The operation was postponed due to the 
leak.  Maariv quoted a senior police official as saying 
that there is a "mole" in the defense establishment. 
 
Jerusalem Post reported that, if disengagement 
opponents succeed in extensively disrupting public 
order during the planned evacuation of the Gaza Strip 
in August, the police will consider ordering the public 
at large to remain inside their homes. 
 
Ha'aretz reported that Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz 
ordered the IDF on Thursday to prepare to hand over 
responsibility for Bethlehem to the PA as early as next 
week.  Leading media reported that the IDF has 
evacuated a position in Hebron. 
 
Leading media reported that representatives of the 
Quartet, who convened Thursday in London, requested 
that Israel grant free movement to the Palestinians 
during the disengagement period.  Jerusalem Post cited 
a statement by the Quartet, according to which it 
"urges Arab states to engage fully" in supporting 
withdrawal from Gaza, a process in which Israelis and 
Palestinians "must work directly and cooperatively with 
each other."  Jerusalem Post cited a response by 
Sharon's media adviser Raanan Gissin: "The money they 
[the Arab states] contribute is the money that goes to 
terrorism, and that's what we want to limit." 
 
Leading media reported that Attorney-General Menachem 
Mazuz asked PM Sharon on Thursday not to sign an 
agreement to post 800 Egyptian troops on the 
Philadelphi route before he examines its legal aspects. 
 
Yediot quoted IDF Intelligence chief Aharon Zeevi- 
Farkash as saying this week, at a closed Foreign 
Ministry conference on strategy attended by Israeli 
diplomats from all over the world, that the regime of 
Syrian President Bashar Assad is unstable, and that the 
Syrian-Lebanese ensemble is falling apart.   Zeevi- 
Farkash was also quoted as saying that PA Chairman 
[President] Mahmoud Abbas is really opposed to terror, 
but that the PA's efforts in this field are minimal and 
not serious. 
 
Israel Radio reported that a Syrian legislator told 
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Majalli 
Wahbee (Likud) in Brussels that his country is ready to 
achieve "closer links" with Israel and that Israel 
should make a similar step.  The radio quoted senior 
GOI sources, including Mofaz, as saying that Syria is 
trying to bypass U.S. measures against Syria via an 
apparent attempt to create links with Israel.  Several 
media quoted U.S. officials, including Gen. Richard 
Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as saying 
that the U.S. is considering imposing additional 
sanctions on Syria. 
 
Citing the Italian daily Corriere Della Sera, Maariv 
cited assessments in Iran that by September the IAF 
could attack the nuclear complex being built in the 
Persian Gulf. 
 
Yediot reported that, marking the conclusion of the 
U.S.-Israel crisis over security exports, Mofaz and 
Defense Ministry D-G Amos Yaron will leave for the U.S. 
in late July to sign a memorandum of understanding 
regarding weapons sales procedures to "problematic 
states."  The newspaper writes that Yaron will retire 
after the disengagement. 
 
Zeev Schiff of Ha'aretz writes: "One doesn't have to be 
an expert detective to understand that some of the 
material against Pentagon official Larry Franklin was 
also based on wiretapping of the Israeli Embassy in 
Washington." 
 
Citing Reuters, Ha'aretz reported that an American, 
Karen Koning Abu Zayd, is expected to be named head of 
the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). 
 
Leading media reported that Microsoft Chairman Bill 
Gates will make his first trip to Israel in late 
October as part of his annual visit to Europe. 
 
Leading media reported that a labor dispute could bring 
Ben-Gurion Airport to a complete standstill. 
 
------------ 
¶1.  Mideast: 
------------ 
 
                       Summary: 
                       -------- 
 
Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar opined in left-leaning, 
independent Ha'aretz: "It was almost as if the whole 
visit [by Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice to the 
region] did not take place.  Not a single gap was 
bridged." 
 
Diplomatic correspondent Ben Caspit wrote in popular, 
pluralist Maariv: "Bibi holds the keys.... The 
disengagement opponents could create a chain reaction 
... at the last moment to stop the evacuation." 
Op-Ed Page Editor Ben-Dror Yemini wrote in Maariv: 
"Terror is continuing because of a clear reason: it is 
not the occupation that terror wants to eliminate, but 
Israel.  Terror wants to thwart the separation [between 
Israel and the Palestinians]." 
 
Extreme right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick wrote in 
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post: "Since both 
[the U.S. and Israel] are committed to 'solutions' that 
have no connection to the real world, the steps they 
adopt to achieve their goals are both counter- 
productive and dangerous." 
 
                     Block Quotes: 
                     ------------- 
 
¶I.  "Diplomats Without Diplomacy" 
 
Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar opined in left-leaning, 
independent Ha'aretz (June 24): "Regarding [Secretary 
of State Condoleezza] Rice's meetings with Palestinian 
Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and with 
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, you could almost say that 
their importance lies in the fact that they didn't 
happen.  Because it was almost as if the whole visit 
did not take place.  Not a single gap was bridged.  As 
for the Sharon-Abu Mazen meeting, one could say the 
damage exceeds the benefit.... Like Abu Mazen, [James] 
Wolfensohn, [the Quartet's special envoy for the 
disengagement,] found that Sharon has decided that you 
don't switch horses in midstream; the strategy of 
insisting on a 'fight against terror' is useful for 
warding off the danger of negotiations.... As long as 
the President of the U.S. agrees that the occupier will 
be the authority that judges the occupied's 
performance, as well as the branch that executes the 
verdict, the chances of the pragmatic bloc retaining a 
majority in the legislative branch [i.e. the Knesset] 
will narrow." 
 
II.  "Bibi Holds the Keys" 
 
Diplomatic correspondent Ben Caspit wrote in popular, 
pluralist Maariv (June 24): "As usual, Binyamin 
Netanyahu reaches the moment of decision even as he 
doesn't know what to decide.  Heavy pressure is applied 
on him.... The next milestone awaiting him is on 
Wednesday in ten days.  It is the scheduled date for 
the introduction of a bill proposal (by [right-wing 
Knesset members] Zevulun Orlev and Uzi Landau) to 
postpone the disengagement by three months.... Bibi 
holds the keys.  If he votes in favor of the proposal, 
there is a certain chance that additional Likud 
ministers who can't afford to remain alone could join 
him.... Thus, the disengagement opponents could create 
a chain reaction ... at the last moment to stop the 
evacuation." 
 
 
III.  "Disengagement, Terror, and Post-Zionism" 
 
Op-Ed Page Editor Ben-Dror Yemini wrote in Maariv (June 
24): "Terror is continuing because of a clear reason: 
it is not the occupation that terror wants to 
eliminate, but Israel.  Terror wants to thwart the 
separation [between Israel and the Palestinians]. 
Terror wants Israel to sink into the quagmire of Gaza 
and Jenin, so that a single large country is 
established here.... The large-state vision works along 
three courses.  The post- and anti-Zionist course 
prepares the ideology: comprehensive citizenship, a 
state of all its citizens, opposition to separation, 
support for immigration, and the right of return.  The 
route of settlement advocates prepares the practical 
side: opposition to separation and to disengagement, 
and the creation of reality in which it won't be 
possible to separate the nations. Palestinian terror 
completes the picture: an attempt to carry out the big 
terrorist attack that will blow up the disengagement. 
The objectives are different.  The consequence is the 
same." 
 
IV.  "Irrelevant 'Visions'" 
 
Extreme right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick wrote in 
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (June 24): 
"Rather than withdraw U.S. support for Abbas as a 
result of his blatant failure to deliver on even the 
smallest American expectation from him, during her 
visit over the weekend, Rice simply shored up U.S. 
support for him.... Since Fatah coexists harmoniously 
with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, by backing Fatah, the 
U.S. is effectively backing all Palestinian terror 
groups.... And at the same time, by calling for Israeli 
'confidence-building measures' to strengthen Abbas, the 
U.S. is effectively weakening its ally.  One cannot be 
too harsh with the Americans for acting on their 
delusions since the policies of Israel's own government 
are even more hallucinatory -- and dangerous.... In 
responding to Rice's demands that it coordinate the 
withdrawal with the Palestinians, Israel has gone back 
on its previous demand to retain control of the 
international crossing points to Gaza.... If either 
Washington or Jerusalem were willing to base their 
policies on reality rather than 'visions,' they would 
both come up with multiple options for fighting 
Palestinian terrorism and transforming Palestinian 
society.  In so doing both would be making a great 
contribution to the cause of democracy and 
counterterrorism throughout the Arab world.  But since 
both are committed to 'solutions' that have no 
connection to the real world, the steps they adopt to 
achieve their goals are both counter-productive and 
dangerous." 
 
------------------------------- 
¶2.  Africa:  International Aid: 
------------------------------- 
 
                       Summary: 
                       -------- 
 
Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: 
"As they seek new ways to cure Africa, the rich powers 
would do well to take stock of Israel's unique approach 
to Africa's development." 
 
                     Block Quotes: 
                     ------------- 
 
"The Forgotten Continent" 
 
Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized 
(June 24): "Measured by any yardstick Africa's decline 
is arguably this era's single largest tragedy.... In 
its summit next month in Gleneagles, Scotland, the G-8 
forum of the world's leading industrial nations will be 
focusing on Africa.  That alone is a kind of attention 
that has long been lacking in major international 
forums.... In this regard, Israel can serve as a source 
of inspiration.  The Mashav program, administered by 
the Foreign Ministry, annually brings here hundreds of 
Africans for various training in anything and 
everything from farming economics to educational 
management, and sends Israeli experts to help build and 
run hospitals, schools, and ranches.  This essentially 
altruistic activity has been going on since the 
1960s.... In the long term, the relations Israel 
nurtured in Africa proved more effective than the post- 
'73 Arab effort to obstruct them, which initially 
resulted in the entire continent's severance of its 
formal ties with Israel.   The reason Africa returned 
to Israel was, at the end of the day, its realization 
that the Jewish state was both able and eager to help 
it on its feet, not by sending foreign-aid assistance - 
- which Israel could never offer -- but by sending 
Israelis to Africa and welcoming Africans in Israel, as 
part of an ongoing effort to equip Africans with the 
tools that building Africa demands.  As they seek new 
ways to cure Africa, the rich powers would do well to 
take stock of Israel's unique approach to Africa's 
development." 
 
CRETZ