US embassy cable - 02AMMAN2527

JORDAN: MEDIA REACTION ON THE OPERATIONS IN NETANYA AND GAZA, PM'S VISIT TO PNA, AND VP CHENEY'S INTERVIEW, IRAQ

Identifier: 02AMMAN2527
Wikileaks: View 02AMMAN2527 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Amman
Created: 2002-05-20 13:02:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: KMDR JO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 002527 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/ARN, NEA/PA, NEA/AIA, INR/NESA, R/MR, 
I/GNEA, B/BXN, B/BRN, NEA/PPD 
USAID/ANE/MEA 
LONDON FOR GOLDRICH 
PARIS FOR O'FRIEL 
USCINCCENT/CCPA, USCENTCOM REAR MACDILL AFB FL 
NICOSIA FOR ILMG 
STATE PASS TO AID 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
 
TAGS: KMDR JO 
SUBJECT: JORDAN: MEDIA REACTION ON THE OPERATIONS IN 
NETANYA AND GAZA, PM'S VISIT TO PNA, AND VP CHENEY'S 
INTERVIEW, IRAQ 
 
 
SUMMARY 
 
NEWS REPORTS IN JORDAN'S DAILIES ON MAY 20 DEALT WITH 
THREE MAIN STORIES: THE BOMBINGS IN ISRAEL, WHICH WERE 
DESCRIBED AS "COMMANDO OPERATIONS," PRIME MINISTER ABUL 
RAGHEB'S VISIT TO RAMALLAH IN WHICH HE HIGHLIGHTED 
JORDAN'S SUPPORT FOR PALESTINIAN REFORMS AND FOR THE 
CREATION OF A PALESTINIAN STATE, AND VP CHENEY'S 
INTERVIEW WITH FOX NEWS IN WHICH HE WARNED OF "NEW 
ATTACKS AGAINST THE U.S." AND ASSERTED THAT THE RETURN 
OF THE INSPECTORS DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM WITH IRAQ. 
 
EDITORIAL COMMENTARIES EXPRESSED DIVERSE OPINIONS ON 
THE ISSUE OF PALESTINIAN REFORMS, BUT ALL AGREED THAT 
THE AMERICAN ISRAELI CALLS FOR REFORMS ARE MADE IN BAD 
FAITH, AND THAT THEY ARE AN ATTEMPT TO COMPLETE THE 
ISRAELI MILITARY OPERATION'S AIM TO ELIMINATE THE 
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY.  OTHER COMMENTATORS WARNED THAT 
DESPITE IRAQ'S ACCEPTANCE OF UN DEMANDS, U.S. 
PREPARATIONS FOR AN "AGGRESSION" AGAINST IT WILL 
CONTINUE. 
 
 
 
NEWS REPORTS 
 
JORDANIAN DAILIES ON ALL LED WITH REPORTS ON THE 
BOMBINGS IN NETANYA AND GAZA.  THE HEADLINES DESCRIBED 
THE BOMBINGS AS "OPERATIONS" OR "COMMANDO OPERATIONS," 
WHILE INDEPENDENT, MASS-APPEAL ARABIC DAILY AL-ARAB AL- 
YAWM SAID: "HAMAS STRIKES AGAIN IN NETANYA." 
 
DAILIES ALSO GAVE PROMINENT COVERAGE TO PRIME MINISTER 
ALI ABUL RAGHEB'S VISIT TO RAMALLAH, WITH HEADLINES 
HIGHLIGHTING JORDAN'S SUPPORT FOR THE PALESTINIAN 
REFORMS AND THE QUEST TO ESTABLISH AN INDEPENDENT 
STATE. 
 
JORDANIAN DAILIES ALSO REPORTED ON THEIR FRONT PAGES VP 
CHENEY'S INTERVIEW WITH FOX NEWS, HIGHLIGHTING TWO 
ELEMENTS: HIS ASSERTION THAT THE RETURN OF THE WEAPONS 
INSPECTORS DOES NOT ELIMINATE THE PROBLEM WITH IRAQ, 
AND HIS WARNING OF MORE "ATTACKS AGAINST THE U.S." 
 
 
EDITORIAL COMMENTARIES 
 
-- THE BATTLE OF PALESTINIAN REFORMS 
IMPORTANT DAILY COLUMNIST BASSEM SAKEJHA WROTE IN 
CENTER-LEFT, INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-DUSTOUR ON MAY 
20: "CORRUPTION IN THE PNA IS NOT A SECRET, AND WHEN 
THE PALESTINIANS ELECTED THE PALESTINIAN NATIONAL 
ASSEMBLY, THEY DID NOT DO SO IN PERPETUITY.  BUT 
QUESTIONS OF REFORM ARE NOW RAISED NOT FROM WITHIN, BUT 
BY THE ENEMY AND HIS ALLY, AS IF THE BATTLE WERE NOT 
ABOUT THE CHURCH OF NATIVITY AND JENIN, BUT ABOUT THE 
DATE OF ELECTIONS AND THE SIZE OF THE CABINET.  THE 
PROBLEM IS THAT THE PALESTINIAN PRESIDENCY CONSIDERS 
THE TIMING OF THE ELECTIONS TO BE A CARD TO PRESSURE 
THE ISRAELIS AND AMERICANS, NOT A PROCESS OF REAL 
REFORM.  WE ALL KNOW THAT THE AMERICAN TALK ABOUT 
REFORM IS IN BAD FAITH, BUT THIS DOES NOT JUSTIFY 
DELAYING THIS STEP, WHICH WOULD BE THE FIRST IN 
BUILDING A DEMOCRATIC STATE. TEL AVIV AND WASHINGTON 
WANT THEM AS A WAY OF BRINGING IN A PALESTINIAN 
LEADERSHIP THAT WOULD BE LAX REGARDING PALESTINIAN 
NATIONAL ISSUES, BUT EXPERIENCE HAS SHOWN THAT THEY 
WILL NOT SUCCEED BECAUSE THE PALESTINIAN STREET ALWAYS 
HAS THE MEANS TO CORRECT POLITICAL ORIENTATIONS." 
 
-- THEY CALL FOR LIBERATING ANDALUSIA 
TAHER AL-ADWAN, CHIEF EDITOR OF INDEPENDENT, MASS- 
APPEAL ARABIC DAILY AL-ARAB AL-YAWM WROTE ON MAY 20: 
"MANY THINGS HAVE CHANGED SINCE SHARON UNLEASHED HIS 
TROOPS TO REOCCUPY THE LIBERATED PALESTINIAN 
TERRITORIES AND REACHED THE DOORS OF THE PRESIDENT'S 
OFFICE, WITH UNPRECEDENTED AMERICAN SUPPORT.  NOW THE 
TALK IS ABOUT THE PREROGATIVES OF THE PALESTINIAN 
PRESIDENT, AND HIS PALESTINIAN CRITICS JUSTIFY 
THEMSELVES BY CLAIMING THAT THEY MAKE CALLS FOR REFORM. 
BUT EVERYONE REMEMBERS THAT THE ORIGIN OF THESE CALLS 
WERE PRESIDENT BUSH AND GENERAL SHARON, AND THEIR CALL 
FOR `REFORM' IS TO COMPLETE THE PRESSURE THAT THE 
MILITARY OPERATION STARTED.  ARAFAT NOW RESISTS 
ATTEMPTS TO ELIMINATE HIM AND THE PALESTINIAN 
AUTHORITY. HIS CRITICS, THEREFORE, ARE LIKE THOSE WHO 
TOLL THE BELLS CALLING FOR PRAYER WHILE THE ENEMY 
TROOPS SCALE THE WALLS OF THEIR CITY.  WE FIND 
OURSELVES LOOKING AT A CARICATURE BEST DESCRIBED BY 
PALESTINIAN POET MAHMOUD DARWISH IN A FAMOUS POEM, IN 
WHICH HE SAID: `THEY CALL FOR LIBERATING ANDALUSIA WHEN 
ALEPPO IS UNDER SIEGE.'" 
 
-- LOOKING FOR PRETEXTS 
"FORMER UNDER-SECRETARY OF CULTURE MOHAMMAD NAJI 
AMAYREH  WROTE IN SEMI-OFFICIAL INFLUENTIAL ARABIC 
DAILY AL-RAI ON MAY 20: "AMERICAN THREATS OF A MILITARY 
STRIKE AGAINST IRAQ HAVE NOT CEASED ALTHOUGH IRAQ HAS 
ACCEPTED THE NEW SANCTIONS REGIME AND IT DID NOT OPPOSE 
THE RETURN OF THE INSPECTORS, WHILE LOOKING FOR WAYS TO 
PREVENT THEM FROM BECOMING SPIES FOR THE U.S.  THE U.S. 
AND ITS ALLY BRITAIN ARE NOW LOOKING FOR PRETEXTS FOR 
THIS AGGRESSION, AND THEY WILL PROBABLY FIND SOME, 
BECAUSE PREPARATIONS FOR THE AGGRESSION ONLY WAIT FOR A 
MORE APPROPRIATE MOMENT TO LAUNCH IT.  THIS HESITATION 
DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEY HAVE RULED OUT MILITARY ACTION. 
HOWEVER, AMERICA WILL FAIL TO ACHIEVE ITS AIMS FROM 
THIS STRIKE, WHICH WILL ONLY WEAKEN U.S. SUPPORTERS IN 
THE ARAB WORLD AND STRENGTHEN THOSE WHO CALL FOR 
SEARCHING FOR ALTERNATIVE FRIENDS."  GNEHM 

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