US embassy cable - 02AMMAN4089

JORDAN: MEDIA REACTION ON THE GAZA BOMBING

Identifier: 02AMMAN4089
Wikileaks: View 02AMMAN4089 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Amman
Created: 2002-07-24 12:59:00
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 004089 
 
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 GAZA BOMBING 
 
 
SUMMARY 
 
JORDANIAN DAILIES ON JULY 24 WERE DOMINATED BY REPORTS 
ON THE ISRAELI "MASSACRE" IN GAZA, AND REACTIONS TO IT. 
REPORTS HIGHLIGHTED THE U.S. ADMINISTRATION'S CRITICISM 
OF THE RAID, AND ISRAEL'S DESCRIPTION OF IT AS "A GREAT 
SUCCESS." 
 
EDITORIAL WRITERS RAGED AGAINST THE ISRAELI "MASSACRE." 
ONE COMMENTARY SAID THAT THE "TRAGEDY IN GAZA MAY 
ANSWER THE TRADITIONAL AMERICAN QUESTION: "WHY DO THEY 
HATE US?"  ANOTHER COLUMNIST CHARGED THAT: "SHARON AND 
BUSH BEAR RESPONSIBILITY". 
 
 
NEWS REPORTS 
 
ALL JORDANIAN DAILIES ON JULY 24 LED WITH REPORTS OF 
THE "INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION OF THE ISRAELI MASSACRE 
IN GAZA."   THE FRONT-PAGE REPORTS, WHICH INCLUDED 
PHOTOS OF THE CHILDREN KILLED IN THE RAID, HIGHLIGHTED 
JORDAN'S CONDEMNATION OF THE RAID AND THE U.S. 
ADMINISTRATION'S CRITICISM OF IT. 
 
IN SEPARATE STORIES, DAILIES REPORTED THAT: "THE 
ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER EXPRESSED HIS SATISFACTION WITH 
THE MASSACRE," WHICH HE DESCRIBED "A GREAT SUCCESS." 
 
 
EDITORIAL COMMENTARIES 
 
-- WHEN F-16S BOMB PEACE SETTLEMENT EFFORTS 
COLUMNIST YASSER ABOU HILALEH WROTE IN SEMI-OFFICIAL 
INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-RAI ON JULY 24: "ON THE EVE 
OF THE CRIME HAMAS HAD DECLARED ITS READINESS TO 
SUSPEND OPERATIONS BEYOND 1948 LINE, PALESTINIAN 
OFFICIALS WERE SPEAKING WITH OPTIMISM, AND ARAB FOREIGN 
MINISTERS RETURNED FROM WASHINGTON HAPPY.  THERE WAS 
HOPE OF A SETTLEMENT, BUT SHARON WANTED TO QUASH THIS 
HOPE, NOT TO SAY THIS ILLUSION.  THE ANGER GOES BEYOND 
SHARON TO THE U.S. THAT GIVES HIM HIS F-16S, AND THAT 
GIVES FALSE PROMISES TO THE PALESTINIANS. THE TRAGEDY 
OF GAZA MAY ANSWER THE TRADITIONAL AMERICAN QUESTION: 
`WHY DO THEY HATE US?'  IT ALSO RAISES MANY NEW 
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE SETTLEMENT, THE 
REGION, AND THE WORLD." 
 
-- REVENGE IS JUSTIFIED 
TAHER AL-ADWAN, CHIEF EDITOR OF INDEPENDENT, MASS- 
APPEAL ARABIC DAILY AL-ARAB AL-YAWM WROTE ON JULY 24: 
"AT THE TIME OF WRITING, MORE THAN 12 HOURS AFTER 
SHARON'S LATEST MASSACRE IN GAZA, AND STILL THERE IS NO 
REACTION FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.  WHITE HOUSE REACTIONS 
TO PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE AGAINST THE OCCUPATION DO NOT 
TAKE MORE THAN 15 TO COME OUT, FULL OF DEROGATORY TERMS 
AGAINST THE PALESTINIANS.  THIS TIME WE WOULD NOT BE 
SURPRISED TO HEAR IT JUSTIFY SHARON AS HAVING ACTED IN 
SELF-DEFENSE.  AND THE AMERICAN MEDIA WILL NOT SHOW IN 
THE U.S. SHOTS OF PALESTINIAN FLESH TORN TO SHREDS BY 
U.S. MADE AIRCRAFT.  THE ONLY PERMISSIBLE FOOTAGE ON 
THE PALESTINIAN-ISRAELI CONFLICT IS OF MARTYRDOM 
BOMBERS.  BUT NOW ALL THE PROMISES OF REVENGE EXPRESS 
NOTHING BUT A LEGITIMATE RIGHT, AND SHARON AND BUSH 
BEAR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ESCALATION BECAUSE 
EMPLOYING STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGY TO KILL CIVILIANS 
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT IS THE WORST FORM OF 
TERRORISM." 
 
-- A WAR CRIME IN GAZA 
PROMINENT COLUMNIST URAIB AL-RANTAWI WROTE IN CENTER- 
LEFT, INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-DUSTOUR ON JULY 24: 
"WASHINGTON, WHICH IS NORMALLY FASTER THAN TEL AVIV TO 
CONDEMN ANY PALESTINIAN COMMANDO OPERATION, IS NOW 
SILENT AS A TOMB. SOME MAY SEE THIS AS ENCOURAGING 
SINCE THE TRACK RECORD OF BUSH IS TO DEFEND `ISRAEL'S 
LEGITIMATE RIGHT OF SELF-DEFENSE.'  AND KOFI ANNAN, WHO 
COULD NOT FIND IN THE LEXICONS OF THE NUMEROUS 
LANGUAGES THAT HE SPEAKS ADEQUATE TERMS OF CONDEMNATION 
OF THE PALESTINIANS, IS NOW CONTENTED TO EXPRESS REGRET 
THROUGH A SPOKESMAN. STILL, THE MOST DANGEROUS ASPECT 
OF THIS OPERATION IS THAT IT CAME HOURS AFTER HAMAS 
LEADER AHMAD YASSIN ACCEPTED TO SUSPEND MARTYRDOM 
OPERATIONS IF ISRAEL ACCEPTS TO STOP TARGETING 
PALESTINIAN CIVILIANS.  ISRAEL CLEARLY WANTED TO 
SABOTAGE EFFORTS AT A PEACE SETTLEMENT, BECAUSE SUCH A 
SETTLEMENT WOULD IMPOSE ON IT COMMITMENTS THAT IT HAS 
NO WISH OF HONORING."   GNEHM 

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