US embassy cable - 02AMMAN3609

JORDAN MEDIA REACTION ON PRESIDENT'S MIDDLE EAST SPEECH.

Identifier: 02AMMAN3609
Wikileaks: View 02AMMAN3609 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Amman
Created: 2002-07-02 14:12:00
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 003609 
 
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 PRESIDENT'S MIDDLE 
EAST SPEECH. 
 
SUMMARY 
 
NEWS REPORTS IN JORDAN'S DAILIES QUOTED THE PALESTINIAN 
STATEMENTS THAT NO PALESTINIANS WOULD MEET SECRETARY 
POWELL WITHOUT THE GREEN LIGHT TO DO SO FROM ARAFAT. 
ASSABEEL, WEEKLY NEWSPAPER REFLECTING THE VIEWS OF THE 
ISLAMIC ACTION FRONT, ADDRESSED RARE BUT POINTED 
CRITICISM TO THE GOVERNMENT OF JORDAN FOR ITS: 
"EXAGGERATED OFFICIAL WELCOME OF THE U.S. PRESIDENT'S 
WORST SPEECH SO FAR." 
 
 EDITORIAL COLUMNISTS CONTINUED THEIR CRITICISMS OF 
PRESIDENT BUSH'S SPEECH, ADDING CRITICISM OF SECRETARY 
POWELL'S CALL FOR A CHANGE OF LEADERSHIP. 
 
 
NEWS REPORTS 
 
JORDANIAN DAILIES ON JULY 2 HIGHLIGHTED THE PALESTINIAN 
CHIEF NEGOTIATOR SA'EB EREQAT'S STATEMENT MADE IN CAIRO 
THAT NO PALESTINIAN WOULD MEET SECRETARY POWELL UNLESS 
ARAFAT GIVES HIM THE GREEN LIGHT TO DO SO.  THE SAME 
STORY, WHICH WAS VIRTUALLY IDENTICAL IN BOTH SEMI- 
OFFICIAL INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-RAI AND CENTER- 
LEFT, INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-DUSTOUR, ALSO QUOTED 
THE PALESTINIAN OFFICIAL STATEMENT REJECTING THE 
"CAMPAIGN AGAINST PALESTINIAN INDEPENDENCE" AND THE 
PALESTINIAN CALLS FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AGAINST THE 
ISRAELI CIVIL AUTHORITY IF IT REPLACES THE PNA, AND THE 
THREAT TO RETURN TO TOTAL MILITARY ACTION. 
 
ARABIC-LANGUAGE WEEKLY ASSABEEL, GENERALLY REFLECTING 
THE VIEWS OF THE ISLAMIC ACTION FRONT (THE POLITICAL 
PARTY BASED ON THE MUSLIM BROTHERS MOVEMENT), 
CRITICIZED THE JORDANIAN GOVERNMENT STRONGLY FOR ITS: 
"EXAGGERATED OFFICIAL WELCOME OF THE U.S. PRESIDENT'S 
WORST SPEECH SO FAR."  AMONG THE PEOPLE INVITED TO 
COMMENT ON THE GOVERNMENT'S REACTION WAS A FORMER 
MINISTER OF CULTURE WHO EXPLAINED THE GOVERNMENT'S 
POSITION AS BEING INTENDED TO "WARD OFF HARM." 
ASSABEEL WAS THE ONLY NEWSPAPER TO QUOTE THE STATEMENT 
OF THE ISLAMIC ACTION FRONT THAT CRITICIZED THE 
GOVERNMENT FOR "SUPPORTING A SPEECH THAT EQUATES 
BETWEEN JIHAD AND TERRORISM" AND THE STATEMENT OF THE 
MUSLIM BROTHERS, WHICH SAID THAT THE PRESIDENT'S 
SPEECH: "LEFT THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE NO OPTION BUT 
JIHAD." 
 
 
EDITORIAL COMMENTARIES 
-- BUSH'S SPEECH AND IGNORING THE FACT OF THE 
OCCUPATION 
FORMER PARLIAMENTARY DEPUTY HAMADEH FARA'NEH WROTE IN 
SEMI-OFFICIAL INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-RAI ON JULY 
2: "PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH'S SPEECH TURNED A BLIND EYE 
TO THE ONE REASON THAT SPARKED OFF AND ACCUMULATED THE 
CONTINUOUS AGGRESSION, CONFLICT, AND FRUSTRATION IN OUR 
REGION, WHICH IS ISRAEL'S OCCUPATION OF THE LAND THAT 
BELONGS TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, WHO HAVE BEEN 
MARGINALIZED FOR DECADES.  PRESIDENT BUSH IS WORKING TO 
ENSURE HIS PARTY'S VICTORY IN THE NOVEMBER 
CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS, AND TO SECURE A SECOND TERM 
FOR HIMSELF . EVEN IF THIS IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE 
PALESTINIANS AND THEIR CONTINUED SUFFERING." 
 
-- A COORDINATED AMERICAN ISRAELI AGGRESSION 
THE LEADING COMMENTARY OF CENTER-LEFT, INFLUENTIAL 
ARABIC DAILY AL-DUSTOUR READ ON JULY 2: "IT IS NO 
LONGER A SECRET TO ANY OBSERVER OF THE MIDDLE EAST THAT 
THE CONTINUOUS ISRAELI AGGRESSION AGAINST THE 
PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, THE TRAVESTIES, DEATH, DESTRUCTION, 
AND TERROR, ARE DONE WITH OPEN U.S. ENCOURAGEMENT AND 
WITH UNRESERVED POLITICAL SUPPORT FROM THE 
ADMINISTRATION THAT SEES THIS AGGRESSION AS SELF- 
DEFENSE AND THAT SEES ARIEL SHARON AS A MAN OF PEACE. 
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES IS A 
COORDINATED AMERICAN-ISRAELI AGGRESSION, BUT WE WARN 
AGAINST GIVING FREE REIGN TO SHARON WHO IS EXPLOITING 
UNLIMITED AMERICAN SUPPORT TO NURTURE EXTREMISM, 
CONSOLIDATE THE OCCUPATION, DESTROY ANY CHANCE FOR 
PEACE, AND PROBABLY DRAG THE REGION TO ANOTHER WAR." 
 
-- A NEW DISASTER 
DAILY COLUMNIST JAMIL AL-NIMRY WROTE IN INDEPENDENT, 
MASS-APPEAL ARABIC DAILY AL-ARAB AL-YAWM ON JULY 2: 
"COLIN POWELL DASHED THE HOPES OF ARAB OFFICIALS BY 
ADOPTING THE WORST POSSIBLE INTERPRETATION OF PRESIDENT 
BUSH'S SPEECH.  HE NOT ONLY RULED OUT THE PROSPECTS OF 
AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN THE PRESENT, BUT ALSO 
AFFIRMED THE PRECONDITION OF CHANGING THE PALESTINIAN 
LEADERSHIP, WHICH WAS REEMPHASIZED CATEGORICALLY BY 
RICE.  SEEN FROM HERE, THERE IS NO AIM FOR THE AMERICAN 
PERFORMANCE EXCEPT TO SUPPORT THE ISRAELI PROGRAM, 
USING TALK ABOUT A PALESTINIAN STATE AS A WEAK AND 
WORTHLESS COVER.  IF THE OFFER WERE OF A PALESTINIAN 
STATE AND AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN RETURN FOR 
ARAFAT'S RESIGNATION, WE WOULD BE THE FIRST TO CALL ON 
HIM TO DO SO.  BUT THIS IS NOT THE CASE. IT IS A REPEAT 
OF THE SAGA OF IRAQ AND SADDAM, WHICH IS JUST A PRETEXT 
FOR EXTENDING THE SIEGE INDEFINITELY." GNEHM 

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