Viewing cable 05TELAVIV6103
Title: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05TELAVIV61032005-10-17 11:58:00 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 07 TEL AVIV 006103 
 
SIPDIS 
 
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 
USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL FOR POLAD/USIA ADVISOR 
COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE FOR PAO/POLAD 
COMSIXTHFLT FOR 019 
 
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 
 
Please note: no Tel Aviv Media Reaction report Tuesday, 
October 18, 2005, due to Sukkoth holiday. 
 
-------------------------------- 
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT: 
-------------------------------- 
 
¶1.  Mideast 
 
¶2.  Syria Governance 
 
¶3.  Iraq 
 
------------------------- 
Key stories in the media: 
------------------------- 
 
In their lead stories, all media reported that nearly 
simultaneous drive-by shootings, one at the Gush Etzion 
Junction and the other at the settlement of Eli in the 
northern West Bank, left three Israelis dead and eight 
wounded Sunday and prompted the Defense Ministry to 
clamp down on the Palestinians -- notably by forbidding 
travel in the West Bank by Palestinians in private 
vehicles and encircling Palestinian cities -- and cut 
contacts with the PA.  Leading media quoted Defense 
Minister Shaul Mofaz as saying: "We want the dialogue 
with the Palestinians to continue but we can't if the 
PA doesn't start taking significant and active steps 
against the terrorist organizations."  Leading media 
reported that the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed 
responsibility for the Gush Etzion attack, but Israel 
Radio said this morning that the organization's 
leadership refuted that assertion. 
 
On Sunday, Ha'aretz reported that the PA has asked 
Israel not to meddle in the elections to the 
Palestinian Legislative Council, and not to attempt to 
prevent the participation of Hamas, lest this serve 
only to strengthen the organization.  On Sunday, 
Jerusalem Post quoted PA security officials as saying 
on Saturday that Russian military experts have arrived 
in the Gaza Strip to help the Palestinian security 
forces enforce law and order.  Ha'aretz reported that 
at a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian officials 
Sunday, the Palestinians agreed to Israel's demand that 
a third party -- probably European -- supervise the 
Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, and that this 
supervisory role include defined enforcement powers 
that will be exercised should the Palestinians fail to 
fulfill their part of the border agreement.  Jerusalem 
Post reported that the PA "capped a largely disastrous 
first month of rule in the Gaza Strip" with an 
announcement late Saturday night that it prevented 17 
terrorist attacks and confiscated a significant number 
of weapons. 
 
On Sunday, Ha'aretz reported that on a number of recent 
occasions, the U.S. has asked Israel to keep out of 
efforts to bring pressure to bear on Syria, and to 
leave things to Washington's devices.  The newspaper 
quoted GOI sources as saying on Saturday that they had 
no knowledge of a so-called "Qadhafi Package" that the 
U.S. had offered Syria to bring it in from the 
international cold, as reported in the British 
newspaper The Times.  On Sunday, Jerusalem Post quoted 
a senior Israeli diplomatic official as saying that 
while Israel has complained bitterly for months that 
Syria is actively aiding and abetting terrorism both 
from Lebanon and inside Israel, it is not interested in 
seeing President Bashar Assad's regime fall. 
 
IDF Intelligence head Maj. Gen. Aharon Zeevi was quoted 
as saying in an interview with Maariv that 10 Al-Qaida 
activists have infiltrated the Gaza Strip.  Jerusalem 
Post reported that in the wake of a purported, 
unauthenticated Al-Qaida letter threatening to "clash 
with Israel," the Foreign Ministry has expressed 
increased concerns of Al-Qaida crossing Israel's 
border. 
 
Ha'aretz, Yediot, and Jerusalem Post quoted Afghan 
President Hamid Karzai's spokesman Karim Rahimi as 
saying Sunday that Karzai would recognize Israel's 
government if an independent Palestinian state was 
first established.   Ha'aretz quoted Israeli political 
sources as saying that they viewed earlier reports in 
the Afghan media as "another step on the road to 
recognition of Israel by the Muslim world."  (On 
Sunday, Yediot bannered remarks by Afghan diplomats 
that their country would recognize Israel.)  During the 
weekend, the media reported that Pakistan has acceded 
to Israel's offer to send humanitarian assistance in 
the wake of the earthquake on the Indian subcontinent. 
The media reported that Pakistan has condition its 
acceptance of Israeli aid upon it being forwarded via a 
third party, such as the U.S. or the UN. 
 
On Sunday, major media (banner in Maariv) reported that 
on Saturday, the Shin Bet found an unexploded 
Palestinian Qassam rocket on PM Sharon's ranch in the 
Negev, near the grave of his deceased wife Lily.  The 
rocket was probably launched several weeks ago. 
 
On Sunday, Yediot reported that U.S. intelligence 
elements have discovered that Iran is developing 
nuclear warheads. 
 
On Sunday, Jerusalem Post cited a report by the 
Jordanian news agency Petra as saying that a huge fire 
destroyed a clothing factory Saturday in one of seven 
joint Jordanian-Israeli manufacturing zones in Jordan, 
causing several million dollars worth of damage. 
 
Citing the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Jerusalem Post 
reported that Elizabeth Nicole Jacobson, believed to be 
the first female U.S. pilot killed in the line of duty 
in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, had a Jewish 
father, David Jacobson.  The Jewish Telegraphic Agency 
reported that David Jacobson told the Florida Jewish 
News, "Elizabeth knew that by fighting in Iraq, she was 
in effect protecting Israel.  She was very proud of 
that." 
 
 
 
 
 
------------ 
¶1.  Mideast: 
------------ 
 
                       Summary: 
                       -------- 
 
Senior columnist and chief defense commentator Zeev 
Schiff wrote in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "If 
the PA does not rethink its approach to terror, it is 
doubtful that the PA's parliamentary elections will be 
able to take place." 
 
Military correspondent Alex Fishman wrote on page one 
of mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "It has 
already happened that Israel failed to understand -- or 
understood too late -- processes that were taking place 
on the Palestinian side." 
 
                     Block Quotes: 
                     ------------- 
 
¶I.  "The Palestinian Population Will Pay the Price" 
 
Senior columnist and chief defense commentator Zeev 
Schiff wrote in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz 
(October 17): "Even if Israel refrains from harsh 
reprisals for Sunday's lethal terror attack, there is 
no getting around the fact that the Palestinian 
population will suffer from the steps the IDF will take 
to prevent other such attacks, such as the erection of 
additional checkpoints.  The IDF will also continue its 
large-scale arrest operations, which, to date, have 
nabbed some 700 terror suspects in the West Bank. 
Sunday's attack in Gush Etzion was the most serious 
attack in the West Bank since the disengagement, and it 
should be viewed as proof that some of the terror 
organizations want to reignite the fighting in the West 
Bank.  There is still no confirmation of the claim of 
responsibility issued by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, 
but if this Fatah-affiliated organization was 
responsible, it makes the incident even more serious 
from the standpoint of Palestinian Authority Chairman 
Mahmoud Abbas, who is now on a diplomatic tour 
overseas.  In any event, if the PA does not rethink its 
approach to terror, it is doubtful that the PA's 
parliamentary elections will be able to take place." 
 
II.  "End of the Concessions Season" 
 
Military correspondent Alex Fishman wrote on page one 
of mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (October 
17): "The Palestinians very badly wanted to receive 
control over the city of Bethlehem in advance of 
Christmas.  After Sunday's shooting attacks, they can 
forget about it.... The army and the Shin Bet are 
constantly measuring the temperature on the ground, in 
an attempt to understand and detect the telltale signs 
that indicate the outbreak of the third Intifada, the 
outburst of a wave of terror attacks in the West Bank, 
which everyone foresaw would come after the pullout 
from Gaza.  On Sunday too, the question was asked: Are 
these the two terror attacks the first rain that marks 
the arrival of the deluge?  Or is this, still, a 
statistical success, meaning that after dozens of 
terror attacks that were prevented, two succeeded.... 
But perhaps the thermometer is mistaken?   It has 
already happened that Israel failed to understand -- or 
understood too late -- processes that were taking place 
on the Palestinian side.  It is very possible that 
Sunday's two terror attacks mark the turnabout.  In any 
case, the 'tahdiya' [calm] is scheduled to expire at 
the end of 2005.  So it is possible that someone 
decided that breaking the rules of the game can be 
moved up by a month or two." 
 
--------------------- 
¶2.  Syria Governance: 
--------------------- 
 
                       Summary: 
                       -------- 
 
Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: 
"If Syria is forced into a Libya-style deal with the 
U.S., that will be a victory for the West, including 
Israel.  But if Syria refuses, as could well happen, it 
should be obvious that Israel should encourage, not 
stand in the way of, increasing international pressure 
on Damascus as much as possible.  If that regime falls, 
it will once again prove that Arab radicalism does not 
pay." 
 
 
                     Block Quotes: 
                     ------------- 
 
"Coercing Syria" 
 
Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized 
(October 17): "This war [on global terror] should be 
measured in the number of terror-supporting regimes 
that are either replaced or are forced out of the 
terror (and nuclear weapons) business.  By this metric, 
the outcome of America's ultimatum to Syria will tell 
us much about where the West stands in beating back the 
wider jihad against it.  At this moment, only Iran 
represents a greater challenge than Syria within the 
Muslim world.  In this context, the Israeli reaction to 
the Syrian regime's predicament is strange, to say the 
least.  Certainly, Israel's main interest is that Syria 
stops supporting terrorism.  But is there any 
understanding in Jerusalem that the regional democratic 
transformation that the U.S. is seeking is also in 
Israel's interest?.... If Syria is forced into a Libya- 
style deal with the U.S., that will be a victory for 
the West, including Israel.  But if Syria refuses, as 
could well happen, it should be obvious that Israel 
should encourage, not stand in the way of, increasing 
international pressure on Damascus as much as possible. 
If that regime falls, it will once again prove that 
Arab radicalism does not pay." 
 
--------- 
¶3.  Iraq: 
--------- 
 
                       Summary: 
                       -------- 
 
Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar'el wrote in 
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The Americans ... 
can consider it an achievement that the referendum even 
took place." 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                     Block Quotes: 
                     ------------- 
 
"The Vote Itself Is an Achievement" 
 
Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar'el wrote in 
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (October 16): "The 
Americans, who invested tremendous effort in recent 
weeks to obtain a consensus of sorts on the wording of 
the constitution, can consider it an achievement that 
the referendum even took place, considering it was 
jeopardized by both the Kurds and Sunnis.  However, 
because of the various sectarian threats, it was 
decided that even if the constitution is approved, it 
will be temporary and open to amendment even after 
parliamentary elections -- in keeping with a new 
referendum.  Hence, Iraq may face a complex political 
process of elections and negotiations between the 
factions in the coming months -- while bombs continue 
exploding on the streets." 
 
JONES