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MDC said Mossad was helping Mugabe to rig elections

An Israeli newspaper, Maariv, reported that the Movement for Democratic Change had accused the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad of acting through an Israeli high-tech company to rig elections in Zimbabwe in favour of President Robert Mugabe in the 2008 elections.

Mugabe subsequently lost the elections but MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai failed to secure an outright win necessitating a run-off.

His party won one more seat in the lower house than Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08TELAVIV742, ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

08TELAVIV742

2008-03-31 06:29

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Tel Aviv

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UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000742

 

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STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD

 

WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM

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JERUSALEM ALSO ICD

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PARIS ALSO FOR POL

ROME FOR MFO

 

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E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: OPRC KMDR IS

 

SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

 

——————————–

SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:

——————————–

 

Secretary Rice to Israel, West Bank, March 29-31, 2008

 

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Key stories in the media:

————————-

 

Ha’aretz (lead story) and other media reported that on Sunday

Secretary Rice vowed that the U.S. will be more insistent that

 

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Israel follows through with its commitments, including the removal

of roadblocks announced yesterday. (A headline in Maariv reads:

“Rice Demands More Concessions.” Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that

Rice was “surprised” by Israel’s gestures and that she welcomed

them.) Leading media reported that on Sunday the Secretary flew to

Amman, where she met with King Abdullah II and PA President Mahmoud

Abbas.

 

Ha’aretz reported on President BushQs interview with the German

daily Die Welt and his statement that Israel and the Palestinians

will sign an agreement before the end of his term in office. The

President was quoted as saying: “This [the Palestinian state] could

then immediately take shape when the conditions of the Roadmap are

fulfilled. But the first step must be the clear definition of the

Palestinian state. I hope it’s possible. And I have an optimistic

feeling that it will happen.” Israel TV reported that on Sunday

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told a “top Israeli official”

 

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that she believes that a framework for an agreement could be reached

by President Bush’s planned May 14 visit to Israel.

 

The Jerusalem Post, citing senior defense officials, reported that

Israel is considering allowing armed PA soldiers in Tulkarm and

Hebron (700 such soldiers are to be deployed in Jenin next month).

Major media reported on the trilateral meeting between Rice, Barak

and Fayyad and the list of measures presented by Barak. Makor

Rishon-Hatzofe reported that the IDF is opposed to Barak’s list of

good will gestures. Yediot reported that Barak warned Hizbullah and

Syria against provoking Israel. Yediot reported that he told

Secretary Rice that Israel is still the strongest country within a

 

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radius of 1,500 km from Jerusalem.

 

Ha’aretz reported that PM Olmert recently approved the construction

of 48 new apartments in Ariel, deep inside the northern West Bank.

The newspaper quoted Ehud Barak’s office as saying in a statement

that the new construction was meant to allow evacuated Gaza

settlers, who had relocated to Ariel with the government’s consent,

to move from temporary to permanent housing.

 

Ha’aretz reported that the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism (UTJ)

party has for the first time joined with the Yesha Council of Jewish

Settlements in the Territories in order to promote the expansion of

the ultra-Orthodox settlement of Beitar Ilit, located between

Jerusalem and Gush Etzion. Referring to PM Olmert’s pledge to

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to freeze construction in the

 

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settlements, UTJ MK Avraham Ravitz was quoted as saying: “Olmert

must tell his rabbi, Condoleezza, ‘I can’t do it.'”

 

Ha’aretz quoted police as saying on Sunday that they had postponed

today’s planned opening of a new police station in the E-1 area.

Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter stressed that the

postponement is temporary and unrelated to Secretary Rice’s visit to

Israel.

 

The Jerusalem Post quoted Meretz MK Avshalom Vilan as saying that

the Knesset vote on the proposed law to compensate West Bank

settlers for relocating to within the Green Line may come sooner

than thought and stands a better chance of passing than opponents

believe. Vilan is a co-sponsor of the bill. Makor Rishon-Hatzofe

quoted FM Livni as saying that the bill should be promoted.

 

Yediot and Ha’aretz reported that on Sunday, before a forum of

bereaved families, Defense Minister Barak said that the current

government will fall within a few months and that Olmert should have

resigned following the Winograd Report. Channel 2-TV’s microphones

caught National Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor)

as saying on Sunday at a government event: “If [Barak] wants to

commit suicide, he can commit suicide. If he continues this way,

[Labor] is finished.”

 

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that there are good chances of uniting

the right-wing religious parties.

 

Yediot reported that Saudi Arabia has invited rabbis from Israel to

its planned interfaith conference.

 

Visiting Czech Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova suggested on Sunday

in an interview with Ha’aretz that a new missile-defense system that

will be deployed in the Czech Republic will also contribute to

Israel’s defense. “If there is an effective missile defense, it

will diminish the threat posed by Iran on Israel,” she was quoted as

saying. She will meet with her counterpart Ehud Barak today, and

discuss greater defense cooperation between the two countries, and

possible procurement of Israeli-made defense systems. Parkanova

also told Ha’aretz that she and her colleagues support the

deployment of a missile-defense system on Czech soil.

 

Maariv reported that the Zimbabwean opposition accuses the Mossad of

acting through an Israeli high-tech company to rig the elections in

favor of President Robert Mugabe.

 

———————————–

Secretary Rice to Israel, West Bank, March 29-31, 2008:

 

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———————————–

 

Summary:

——–

 

The independent, left-leaning Ha’aretz editorialized: “[Foreign

Minister Tzipi] Livni’s calm determination is especially conspicuous

when compared with the rather frenzied positions taken by Defense

Minister Ehud Barak…. The U.S. administration views the policy

adopted by Barak … as a stumbling block.”

 

Columnist Calev Ben-David wrote in the conservative, independent

Jerusalem Post: “Barak has good reasons to be cautious, both for the

safety of the Israeli people, as well as his own prime ministerial

prospects if security concessions on the West Bank lead to renewed

terror attacks.”

 

Columnist Assaf Golan wrote in the nationalist, Orthodox Makor

Rishon-Hatzofe: “Simple logic apparently does not exist in the

Kadima-led Israeli government. This cabinet might accept American

involvement with open arms.”

 

Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar’el wrote in Ha’aretz:

“Terms such as the ‘general Arab interest’ or ‘Arab policy,’ which

were the showcases of previous Arab summits, were dealt a fatal

blow.”

 

Block Quotes:

————-

 

I. “Livni’s Perseverance”

 

The independent, left-leaning Ha’aretz editorialized (3/31): “The

[confidential Israeli-Palestinian] talks are succeeding, despite all

the difficulties, in preserving the status of the Palestinian

Authority in the eyes of the public in the territories. [Foreign

Minister Tzipi] Livni remains steadfast in her belief that this

status, which appears to be shaky, must continue to be strengthened

to prevent Hamas from gaining control of the Palestinian political

arena. This is an important achievement, even if it is threatened

incessantly, and it refutes the claim that ‘there is no one to talk

to’ and enables the government to continue its dialogue with those

who are legitimate representatives — in its eyes and those of the

world – of the Palestinian people. In addition, the talks make it

possible to dismantle at least some of the small stones in the

fortified walls of opposition in Israeli public opinion…. Livni’s

calm determination is especially conspicuous when compared with the

rather frenzied positions taken by Defense Minister Ehud Barak….

The U.S. administration views the policy adopted by Barak — who

also met a few times with the settlers and according to them, gave

them promises that are not in accordance with the spirit of the

negotiations with the Palestinians — as a stumbling block. Livni

has to cope with more than enough obstacles from the right and does

not need additional interference from members of the government.

She should be allowed to get on with the job and should be supported

in her efforts.”

 

II. “Condi’s Three Generals vs. Barak”

 

Columnist Calev Ben-David wrote in the conservative, independent

Jerusalem Post (3/31): “Barak’s team may feel [Lt. Gen. Keith]

Dayton’s authority has diminished with [Gen. James] Jones and [Lt.

Gen. William] Fraser on the scene; but for the latter two, the

Israeli-Palestinian conflict is very much a part-time gig, while

it’s Dayton who is on the ground here full-time, and is specifically

tasked with the job – creating a viable security force — on which

any future real political progress is likely to depend, Barak has

good reasons to be cautious, both for the safety of the Israeli

people, as well as his own prime ministerial prospects if security

concessions on the West Bank lead to renewed terror attacks (or the

nightmare scenario of those weapons and APC’s being given to the PA

eventually falling into the hands of Hamas). But as 2008 winds in

and the Bush administration presses for more progress on the

Israeli-Palestinian peace front, it will be Rice’s generals who will

be leading the Secretary’s charge for Israel to make even more

concessions on the West Bank — and Israel’s own general of generals

who will have to find the right balance to both keeping Washington

happy, and Israelis secure.”

 

III. “Beware, Condoleezza Is Already Here”

 

Columnist Assaf Golan wrote in the nationalist, Orthodox Makor

Rishon-Hatzofe (3/31)”: “The decision-makers in Jerusalem should

envelop the important host [Secretary Rice] with an ocean of words

of warning and state ceremonies devoid of contents. This is how

most world leaders — including in the Arab world — deal with the

Bush administration, as they await a regime change in Washington.

Unfortunately, such simple logic apparently does not exist in the

Kadima-led Israeli government. This cabinet might accept American

involvement with open arms.”

 

IV. “Shaky Peace Initiative”

 

Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar’el wrote in Ha’aretz

(3/31): “The [Arab League] summit failed to reach agreement on

solutions to either the Lebanon crisis or the Palestinians’ internal

divisions; it did not even issue a clear statement of support for

national reconciliation in Iraq. The task of dealing with the

Middle East’s three major crises has thus been returned to

individual states or small groups of countries. The

Israeli-Palestinian crisis will be handed back to Egypt and Saudi

Arabia; the Lebanon crisis will be dealt with by Egypt, Saudi

Arabia, Syria and Iran; and the internal Palestinian conflict will

continue to be left to sporadic initiatives such as that of Yemen

and Egyptian mediation. Syria might ultimately dive into this

latter conflict as well: President Bashar Assad plans to convene a

mini-summit of the various Palestinian factions in Damascus to try

to record a personal achievement. But regardless, terms such as the

‘general Arab interest’ or ‘Arab policy,’ which were the showcases

of previous Arab summits, were dealt a fatal blow. This time, the

very fact that the summit occurred was the achievement, with the

list of participants replacing the list of decisions as the measure

of its success.”

 

JONES

 

(7 VIEWS)

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