WikiLeaks: Advancing an Israeli Agenda?

By :Maidhc Ó Cathail

Like 9/11  WikiLeaks has been singularly good for Israel.    

Asked on the night of September 11, 2001 what the terrorist attacks meant for U.S.-Israel relations, Benjamin Netanyahu, the then former prime minister, tactlessly but accurately replied, “It’s very good.” And on the day after WikiLeaks’ publication of U.S. diplomatic cables, Netanyahu “strode” into a press conference at the Israeli Journalists Association, looking “undoubtedly delighted” with the group’s latest embarrassment of U.S. President Barack Obama.

“Thanks to WikiLeaks,” Aluf Benn wrote in Haaretz, “there is now no fear Washington will exert heavy pressure on Israel to freeze settlement construction or to accelerate negotiations on a withdrawal from the territories.” Instead, also courtesy of WikiLeaks, the world’s attention had been shifted exactly where a “vindicated” Netanyahu wanted it – toward Iran’snon-existent nuclear weapons programme.

“Our region has been hostage to a narrative that is the result of 60 years of propaganda, which paints Israel as the greatest threat,” Netanyahu told the assembled journalists. “In reality leaders understand that that view is bankrupt. For the first time in history there is agreement that Iran is the threat.” While there is considerable dispute about the extent to which Arab leaders share Netanyahu’s understanding of “the Iranian threat,” the Arab public overwhelmingly considers Israel to be a far greater threat.

Nevertheless, according to Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit, Julian Assange “has shattered the accepted dogma on the understanding in the Middle East in the 21st century.” WikiLeaks, crowed Shavit, “proved” that the Israeli occupation and colonisation of Palestine was not the main cause of instability in the Middle East. Instead, the secret cables “revealed” that “the entire Arab world” is concerned about “one problem only — Iran, Iran, Iran.” Thus, Shavit concluded, the only way to bring peace to the region was to deal with “Iran first.”

Strangely, the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange seems to accept the Israeli vision of “war is peace” in the Middle East. In an interview with Timemagazine, Assange singled out Netanyahu as an example of a world leader who believed the publication of Arab leaders’ provocative privately expressed comments “will lead to some kind of increase in the peace process in the Middle East and particularly in relation to Iran.”

Even more puzzling, Assange had an op-ed piece in Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian, in which he quoted something the media mogul had written in 1958: “In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win.” In choosing another pro-Israel apologist as a model of transparency, is it possible that Assange is ignorant of the key role played by Murdoch’s media empire in propagating the lies that led the New York Timesto dub the war in Iraq “Mr. Murdoch’s War”?

Assange seems equally oblivious to the significant contribution made by theNew York Times itself to the war whose conduct he now claims to oppose. On September 8, 2002, the paper of record led with a front-page story by Judith Miller and Michael Gordon, which falsely claimed that Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy aluminium tubes as part of its “worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb.” As Michael Massing later wrote, “In the following months, the tubes would become a key prop in the administration’s case for war, and the Times played a critical part in legitimizing it.” Chosen by Assange to publish its leaked documents because it is one of “the best newspapers in the world for investigative research,” the pro-Israel Times is now busily spinningthe leaks to push America into an equally unnecessary but even moredisastrous war with Iran.

Given that the WikiLeaks revelations have been such an unexpecteddiplomatic coup” for Israel, its American lobby appears to be strangely divided over the issue. On one side, there are those like David FrumJeffrey Goldberg, and Michael Ledeen who delight in being able henceforth to cloak their incessant Iran warmongering behind a specious Arab cover. “Those who suggest that it’s some ‘Israel lobby’ or Jewish cabal that is driving the confrontation with Iran” should be embarrassed by the leaks, writes Frum. “WikiLeaks confirms that the region’s Arab governments express even more anxiety than Israel about the Iranian nuclear weapons program.”

Meanwhile, the most virulent attacks on WikiLeaks have come from some of Israel’s staunchest supporters. William Kristol, editor of Rupert Murdoch’sWeekly Standardwants Congress to enable Obama to “Whack WikiLeaks.”Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, appear only too willing to oblige. Both senators have called for the prosecution of Assange under the 1917 Espionage Act. Feinstein is also working with Senator Charles Schumer on media legislation that would allow the prosecution of organizations like WikiLeaks.

How do we reconcile the Israel lobby’s apparently schizophrenic reaction to WikiLeaks? Could it be that Julian Assange has killed two birds for Israel with one document dump?

Thanks to WikiLeaks, the well-publicised remarks of a few Arab leaders provide much-needed cover for pro-Israelis as they relentlessly press America to whack Iran. At the same time, the disclosure of U.S. diplomatic secrets has given the likes of Joe Lieberman another excuse to “kill the internet” — to prevent Americans from ever finding out how they got into such a mess in the Middle East.

But just like 9/11, no matter how much WikiLeaks has benefited Israel, most observers still seem loath to consider the Tel Aviv connection.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is a freelance writer. His work has been published by Al Jazeera Magazine, Antiwar.comDissident VoiceKhaleej TimesPalestine Chronicle and many other publications.

Note:This is a cross post.

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  • IMRAN  On December 12, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Ive read all your posts here & admire your ability to cut through a lot of flak. Glad to see you lived up to the expectation here.
    I agree that WIKILEAKS serves Israel well. One should analyze why this happened, who did it and why, who is benefitting and who is being harmed.
    Here’s an interesting link, sharing it with you:

  • Portugheis Alberto  On December 12, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Thank you for sending this. Very interesting. I’d however, change the title to:

    “WikiLeaks: Advancing an Amerocan Agenda in Israel and the Middle East?”

  • Tasneem Hassan  On December 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    U seem to b interested in agonising Israel, whereas Musilms are least interesred to fight against any religion or culture or society. USA and EU are trying to stirr religious vengience again through NAMOOS E RISALAT cause but these are used cartridges. People now want to remain away from strikes or jalsa jaloos. Shia community also should gain wisdom and stop spoiling their whole year into self beating and singing peoms with false impressions of love for Hussain. Their weaping tones are fruitless and shall bring no change in the Economy or prosperity of any society.

  • Tasneem  On December 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Mr Roedad Khan a Pakistani retired Diplomat has also written a book, “AMERICAN SECRET PAPERS” it also contains whole lot of US Embassy diplomacy in South Asia. My neighbour a teacher of History in Government College gave it to me once for reading I scanned it and find that USA Archives do release such correspondance after every Five or Eight years. So WIKI LEAKS is the series of Facts US diplomats are busy every where (knowing who is who and forgeting WHO THEY R)

  • Kathleen Curren  On December 12, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    YW Yasmeen. Thank you for posting. It’s great article with a lot of great links. Very insightful.

  • Archie Haase  On December 12, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    My great hillbilly grandmother said “What Goes Over The Devils Back Will Come Under His Belly”.

    My belief is this. If lies are told long enough to become truth, so it is also true lies will be shown for what they are in the rocks eventually.
    This is natural law bound by God’s grand creation.

    To me I find peace in the justice of God’s quiet non evasive even handed natural law.

    • Kathleen Curren  On December 12, 2010 at 6:26 pm

      Archie, a whole hell of a lot of suffering takes place in that time span of “eventually. Human beings have to stand together for what is right in order to overcome the evil that elite factions have unleashed upon the world. The decades long plight of the Palestinians is a prime example of injustice and man’s inhumanity to man. It’s long past time for the world to come together and work to resolve this crisis of death, destruction and mayhem. If it takes blowing Israel off the map, so be it!

  • Kathleen Curren  On December 12, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    There is a difference between Judaism which is a religion and Zionism which is secular and in many cases atheistic. Israel is a Zionist state which is condemned by many Judaic scholars and rabbis. The Jewish state as described in the Torah, is not a physical location with boundaries. Many people, including many jews believe that zionism ad judaism are identical. They are not.
    There is a vile lie, which stalks the Jewish people across the globe. It is a lie so heinous, so far from the truth, that it can only gain popularity due to the complicity of powerful forces in the “mainstream” media and educational establishment.
    It is a lie which has brought many innocent people untold suffering and if unchecked has the potential to create extraordinary tragedy in the future.
    It is the lie that declares that Judaism and Zionism are identical.
    Nothing could be further from the truth.
    Judaism is the belief in revelation at Sinai. It is the belief that exile is a punishment for Jewish sins.
    Zionism has for over a century denied Sinaitic revelation. It believes that Jewish exile can be ended by military aggression.
    Zionism has spent the past century strategically dispossessing the Palestinian people. It has ignored their just claims and subjected them to persecution, torture and death.
    Torah Jews the world over are shocked and pained at this short-lived dogma of irreligiosity and cruelty. Thousands of Torah scholars and saints have condemned this movement from its inception. They knew that the pre-existing good relationship between Jews and Muslims in the Holy Land was bound to suffer as Zionism advanced.
    The so-called “State of Israel” stands rejected on religious grounds by the Torah. Its monstrous insensitivity to the laws of basic decency and fairness appall all men be they Jewish or not.
    We of Neturei Karta have been in the forefront of the battle against Zionism for over a century.
    Our presence here is to refute the base lie that the evil, which is Zionism, in some way represents the Jewish people.
    The reverse is true.
    We are saddened day in and day at the terrible toll of death emanating from the Holy Land. Not one of them would have occurred if Zionism had not unleashed its evil energies upon the world.
    As Jews we are called upon to live in peace and harmony with all men. We are exhorted to be law abiding and patriotic citizens in all lands.
    We condemn the current Zionist atrocities in the Holy Land. We yearn for peace based upon mutual respect. We are convinced that this proposed mutual respect is doomed to fail as long as the Israeli state exists. We welcome its abolition in a peaceful manner.
    May we be worthy of true redemption when all men will join in brotherhood in His worship.

    • Archie Haase  On December 12, 2010 at 6:26 pm

      You have no idea of the depth of compassion I have for these folks. Since I have absolutely no power the change these peoples plight I have no option but have faith things will change. God’s will!

      However I cannot support any form of violence other then assertive verbal and written “passive” opposition.

      What we are dealing with is people thinking they have a mandate from their God —– on both sides. Somewhere in the middle truth is lost to lies..

      Things have became so convoluted with religious dogma, self serving smoke screens, and money.

  • Tarek Rehman  On December 14, 2010 at 6:18 am

    No matter whether Israel has benefited or not the historic rivalry between the Arsbs and the Persians still exists and it is true that the Arabs are more concerned about Iran’s ambitions in the area than they are about Israel.

  • Portugheis Alberto  On December 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    This general prjudice against Israel really blinds you all. Do you really think that the population of Israel looks forward to more wars and more dead???? why don’t you try to understand the “business” of politics. There are even many Muslim Arabs involved in Israeli political “business”. Also, you seem to ignore that Presidents or Prime Ministers do NOT just walk into a Press Conference and speak their minds out. Every word they utter is prepared for them (even if they have no paper to read) and everything they say has a hidden meaning, an agenda. What they say depends on that agenda: create more trouble? calm down the population or make them worry more? gain sympathy or more enmity from a specific country or block of countries?

    As to Iran, you don’t seem to understand the Game or Business of politics either. The Iranian Government is also playing a role, the role of “possible” threat to Middle Eastern security. And they love this role !!!!! Weapon manufacturers love it too, as do bankers. Thanks to Iran being willing to play the Game, USA has recently sold 32 “billion” dollars of war machinery to Saudi Arabia.

    You should all visit an International Arms Fair and see how “money makes the world go round”


    • S Turkman  On December 23, 2010 at 11:59 am

      I agree with you on everything here but its not USA that has made that Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia. US Arms manufacturers have. But they or USA did not go to Shiyah Iran to tell anybody to turn Iran in to a scare for Soonni Arabs of Middle East or Saudi Arabia. You can not call this a game played by USA and Arms Manufacturers of the world. Just like almost all Moslims believe in Conspiracy Theories, you do too.
      If Arms Sale is so important for the Industrialized world, why its such a small percentage of their exports?
      $ 32 billion sounds a huge amount to you but you forget its nothing compared to the yearly total exports of USA, $ 700 billion. Total export of Industrialized countries is in trillions and Auto Industry has lion’s share of it, not Oil. 2nd is Oil and 3rd is Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals. Arms Sale of the world is nothing compared to the 3rd. If the West was so Greedy, it would be spreading Diseases all over the world therefore, you are totally wrong and are spreading a Conspiracy Theory on Internet.

      • Portugheis Alberto  On December 24, 2010 at 4:50 am

        I have the impression you don’t work for the USA Treasury in Washington !!!!!!! otherwise you’d know how the US Government benefits from USA weapon deals, both deals withing the country and of course the rest of the world. Perhaps you should attend the next International Arms Fair. You’ll then see how the manufacturers arrange their beautiful stands, their space decorated with attractive posters, bottles of the best whisky, that even Pakistanis drink. The manufacturer or his dealer or distributor will write contracts, but those lobbying for the manufacturers, are Ministers of Defense, Ambassadors, military attachés form the nearest Embassy, etc.

        Do you know that when a president travels abroad, half of the gigantic aircraft is full of businessmen, (many of them weapon manufacturers) who pay a fortune to travel with the President or Prime Minister. With their presence (tacit backing or support) sales are much easier. Then Government gets a big cut out of the profits.

        Why is Prince Andrew of the UK the “Trade Ambassador” for the country? why are the British Armed Forces known as Royal Armed Forces?

        I don’t know what “conspiracy” you’re talking about. It has never crossed my mind. As to the industries, you are so obsessed with figures, that you talk only in terms of which sector exports more and which sector exports less, without realising that all those branches of business you mention are interconnected. In fact, many wars are financed with oil, gold, drugs, etc.

        Obviously you don’t care about the 3 million people who die every year because they have no food or medicines, otherwise you wouldn’t be saying “$ 32 billion sounds a huge amount to you…….” !!!!!!!!! of course $ 32 billion is a huge amount to me !!!!!!! had it been a country the size of Russia, China, Brazil, Canada, etc, no, but…….Saudi Arabia??????? I can think of a least a thousand rhings far more urgent that buying arms that Saudi Arabia could do.

        You say I cannot call this (the weapon business) a game played by USA and Arms Manufacturers of the world.” Of course it is NOT a Game. It is a BUSINESS. The Game is called WAR. Just as when you want to play a game of Tennis. You have to first buy the rackets and balls.


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