Monday, November 29, 2010

WikiLeaks, Iran and Israel

The information coming from WikiLeaks is casting Israel in a favorable light. It is becoming more and more apparent from these leaks, that Israel's concerns about Iranian progress towards nuclear weapons are more widespread in the region that once thought. In fact, the information is so favorable to Israel, some are speculating that Israel could be behind the leaks.

Israel pleased with WikiLeaks revelations

There was much apprehension and concern on Sunday evening as whistleblower website WikiLeaks began publishing nearly a quarter of a million classified US diplomatic cables. Washington had already phoned Israeli leaders to prepare them for any embarrassing information that would be revealed.

“If anything, the leaks were positive and did not damage Israel’s image at all,” former National Security Adviser Giora Eiland told Voice of Israel radio. “There was no contradiction between what Israel has said in public and in private.”

The documents further aid Israel by revealing that it is far from being the only nation in the region calling for military action against Iran’s defiant nuclear program, or at least greater efforts to effect regime change in Tehran.

A slew of other documents reveal that the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan all share the Israeli sense of urgency regarding Iran, and also want the US and/or Israel to stop Iran’s nuclear program at any cost.

“That program must be stopped,” King Hamad of Bahrain is quoted as saying in one of the documents. “The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.”

The article below, from the Jerusalem Post gives us more insight into Iran and the regional fears over their nuclear progress. It is very revealing:

WikiLeaks: Burying linkage between peace process, Iran

Since the earliest days of Barack Obama’s presidency, there have been two major conceptual differences between how Israel and how the US administration view the Middle East.

The first difference has to do with the region.

While the US maintains that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conundrum is the key to unlocking peace in the Middle East and getting other countries in the region on board to help stop the Iranian threat, Israel’s position is to first deal with Iran – neutralize it – which will then make it easier to reach an accord with the Palestinians.

Israel’s logic is that Hamas and Hizbullah – Iran’s two proxies – will be much less able to gum up the works whenever diplomatic progress looms if Iran is defanged.

That seems obvious, especially given that Hamas and Hezbollah have stated that they will never accept a Jewish state of Israel.

The second key conceptual difference has to do with how to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the US still tied into the land-forpeace formula – Israel gives up land and gets peace in return – and much of Israel, bitten badly by reality, no longer convinced that formula is relevant.

This also seems obvious. One only has to look at Gaza to see the clear failure of the "land for peace" scenario. There is absolutely no shred of evidence that "land for peace" actually works.

More below:

And along comes the cache of WikiLeaks documents and reveals that Obama’s linkage of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Iran is nothing short of fiction – a fiction he and his key aides have been spinning since the beginning of his tenure.

Now we see Obama's position that a Middle East peace deal is the best way to deal with Iran:

“Having said that,” the president went on, “if there is a linkage between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, I personally believe it actually runs the other way. To the extent that we can make peace with the Palestinians – between the Palestinians and the Israelis – then I actually think it strengthens our hand in the international community in dealing with a potential Iranian threat.”

And that position, that progress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue – that stopping settlement construction – would somehow magically mollify the Arab world and get it to put its shoulder to the wheel regarding Iran has been a constant thread throughout the Obama regime.

What the WikiLeaks cache revealed, however, was that this argument was a fabrication.

Below we see the truth of the situation:

There was no need to crack the Palestinian-Israeli nut before getting the “moderate” Arab nations in the region – Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf states, Egypt and Jordan – on board regarding Iran, because those nations were already fully camped out on board the deck of the ship, just waiting for action against Iran.

In other words, the U.S. and Israel didn't need a peace deal with an independent "PA State" to get the Gulf states on board - they already were!

Below we see actual quotes from various Arab leaders:

• Saudi Arabian King Abdullah, quoted by the monarchy’s envoy to the US in 2008 as exhorting the US to attack Iran and end its nuclear weapons program, said in reference to Iran – according to one cable – that it was necessary to “cut the head of the snake.”

• King Hamad of Bahrain was quoted in 2009 as saying, “That program [the Iranian nuclear program] must be stopped. The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.”

• Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed in 2009 urged the US, according to another cable, not to appease Teheran and said, “Ahmadinejad is Hitler.”

• Maj-Gen. Muhammad al-Assar, assistant to the Egyptian defense minister, was quoted in a cable in 2010 as saying that “Egypt views Iran as a threat to the region.”

The following concludes the article:

Obama was obviously well aware of the views of these leaders, most of whom he personally met, yet he continued to propagate what he must have known to be a falsehood – that these countries would only sign on to sanctions and otherwise support efforts to neutralize Iran if there were progress on the Israeli-Palestinian track.

Obviously these countries wanted to see progress on that track, but this desire had nothing to do with Iran. Nor would an Israeli-Palestinian accord lead them to be supportive of aggressive steps toward Iran, because they were already practically dreaming of those steps.

To link the two issues – the conflict with the Palestinians, and Iran – was to badly muddle the issue. Why exactly Obama felt compelled to do so is one of the key questions the WikiLeaks documents raised in relation to our region.

The information coming from WikiLeaks is very revealing in terms of what is happening in the Middle East, and it is comforting to see that what Israel says and does in private is exactly the same as their public position - a fact that is being noticed by several major publications.

The U.S., on the other hand is propagating a myth that a Middle East peace deal, with all of the caveats around it, is required to get the Gulf states on board. That idea bears no resemblance to reality as one can plainly see that these leaders are desperate for someone to deal with Iran, and to do it decisively and quickly. We now have the quotes to prove what our administration already knew.

It is becoming clear why Israel policy now dictates that they get various U.S. promises in writing before making an agreement.

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