Contents of the United States diplomatic cables leak (Israel)

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Content from the United States diplomatic cables leak has depicted Israel and related subjects extensively. The leak, which began on 28 November 2010, occurred when the website of WikiLeaks — an international new media non-profit organisation that publishes submissions of otherwise unavailable documents from anonymous news sources and news leaks — started to publish classified documents of detailed correspondence — diplomatic cables — between the United States Department of State and its diplomatic missions around the world. Since the initial release date, WikiLeaks is releasing further documents every day.

Israeli–Palestinian conflict[edit]

In a conversation with Congressman Ackerman in 2007, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said Israel President Shimon Peres had admitted to him that the Oslo peace process Peres helped initiate was based on a mistaken premise. Netanyahu said Peres had told him the European and U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority had established a "bloated bureaucracy, with PA employees looking to the international community to meet their payroll".[1]

In one document from April 2007, Netanyahu, who was opposition leader at the time, describes the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as a "nice man who means well" and urges Washington to focus on toppling Hamas through an "economic squeeze" saying it would be "easier to weaken Hamas than to strengthen Abbas".[2]

In 2008, U.S. diplomats in the Middle East were instructed to secretly collect personal information on Palestinian leaders, and to monitor closely Israeli military and telecommunication capabilities.[3] One U.S. State Department directive orders U.S. diplomats to report on Israeli Military tactics, techniques, and procedures dealing with conventional and unconventional counterinsurgency operations.[4]

In 2007, then Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni said she "doubted that a final status agreement could be reached with Abbas, and therefore the emphasis should be on reforming Fatah so that it could beat Hamas at the polls".[5] Mossad chief Meir Dagan told U.S. diplomat Frances Fragos Townsend that "nothing will be achieved" in the peace process according to a secret cable the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv sent to the State Department. During a two-hour meeting, Dagan told Townsend that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would "likely move to Qatar and join his mysteriously wealthy son there" in the event Hamas took over the West Bank. In the same cable, Dagan was recorded accusing Saudi Foreign Minister Saud bin Faisal of playing a "very negative role" and characterized Qatar as "a real problem", accusing its leader Sheikh Hamid bin Khalifa al-Thani of "annoying everyone". He also suggested the U.S. should move its bases out of Qatar.[6]

According to a cable from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu supports the concept of land-swaps with the Palestinian Authority and does not want to govern the West Bank and Gaza but rather to stop attacks from being launched from there.[7]

Netanyahu was described by Luis G. Moreno in one cable: 'Netanyahu warned that when Israel left Lebanon it created a first Iranian base, that when it left Gaza it created a second Iranian base, and if Israel "promised" a third retreat from the West Bank it would see the same results. There were three options, according to Netanyahu, including withdrawing to the 1967 borders (which would "get terror, not peace"), doing nothing (which he considered "just as bad"), or "rapidly building a pyramid from the ground up". Netanyahu suggested a rapid move to develop the West Bank economically, including "unclogging" bureaucratic "bottlenecks".[8]

In April 2007 Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Palestinian right of return would have to be abandoned in return for peace.[9] U.S. Congressman Gary Ackerman summarised his discussion with Netanyahu on this point, saying, 'Netanyahu stated that a return to the 1967 borders and dividing Jerusalem was not a solution since further withdrawals would only whet the appetite of radical Islam. Ackerman asked if the Palestinians would accept peace based on the 1967 lines. Netanyahu said he would not agree to such a withdrawal since the 1967 lines were indefensible, but he added that the "right of return" was the real acid test of Arab intentions.'[10]

Gaza[edit]

In 2008, Israel told U.S. officials that Israel would keep Gaza's economy "on the brink of collapse", at a level just above that of a humanitarian crisis, according to U.S. diplomatic cables published by a Norwegian daily newspaper. "As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to (U.S. embassy economic officers) on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge," a November 3, 2008 U.S. cable stated. Israel wanted to maintain Gaza "functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis," according to the cable.

This Israeli policy was consistent with a January 2008 speech by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in which he said that "We will not harm the supply of food for children, medicine for those who need it and fuel for institutions that save lives. But there is no justification for demanding we allow residents of Gaza to live normal lives while shells and rockets are fired from their streets and courtyards (at southern Israel)."[11] According to a 2011 UNRWA report, Gaza unemployment rate is at 45% of the total working age population, and real wages have fallen more than 30% in 2010 since 2006, the year Israel imposed the embargo. "These are disturbing trends," said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, "and the refugees, who make up two-thirds of Gaza's 1.5 million population, were the worst hit." He said: "It is hard to understand the logic of a man-made policy which deliberately impoverishes so many and condemns hundreds of thousands of potentially productive people to a life of destitution."[12]

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak consulted with Fatah of the Palestinian Authority and asked if Fatah could take over control of Gaza Strip after expected Israeli victory during Operation Cast Lead, but met with refusal.[13]

In June 2007, after violent clashes between Fatah and Hamas broke out in Gaza, Director of Israel Military Intelligence Major General Amos Yadlin told U.S. Ambassador Richard Jones that he would "be happy" if Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip. Yadlin stated that a Hamas takeover would be a positive step, because Israel would then be able to declare Gaza as a hostile entity. Jones stated that if Fatah loses control of the Strip, Abbas would be urged to form a separate government in the West Bank. Yadlin replied that such developments would please Israel, because the IDF would not have to deal with Hamas as a stateless body. He also added that Israel would be able to cooperate with a Fatah-controlled West Bank.[14]

A cable written in 2006 asserted that some multinational companies — Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble, Motorola, Dell, etc. — complained to U.S. diplomats of being forced to pay bribes to Israeli authorities charged of overseeing the Karni Crossing to have their products distributed into the Gaza Strip.[15] The bribes allegedly occurred one year before Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections and Israel imposed the economic embargo over Gaza.

In February 2010 IDF Advocate-General Maj. Gen. Avichai Mandelblit revealed to James Cunningham, US Ambassador to Israel, that the Israeli army had used drones in its fight against Gaza militants. The two men met to give the Ambassador more information on the investigation of civilian deaths caused during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008–2009. According to the General Mandelblit, 16 civilians were killed when Gaza a drone fired against militants in front of a mosque. Most of them were praying inside the mosque.[16]

Second Lebanon War[edit]

Netanyahu described Kadima as a "fake party" and referred to the Second Lebanon War as "stupid" and criticized the approach of Ehud Olmert's policies towards the conflict.[1][17]

Iran–Israel relations[edit]

In August 2007, Mossad chief Meir Dagan suggested to the U.S. to use Iranian student unions and ethnic minority groups to try to overthrow the government of Iran.[18] WikiLeaks documents also suggest that Dagan denied plans to attack a Syrian nuclear facility, just two months before an attack actually happened.[19]

In June 2009 Ehud Barak, Israel's defence minister, told U.S. congressman that Israel "saw 2010 as a pivotal year" in stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, inferring it would attack Iran if the weapons program was not stopped by then. This is the Israeli military's preferred option. Other revelations included that Israeli Mossad chief Meir Dagan, senior military men and diplomats repeatedly explained to various U.S. visitors Israel's concerns. The United States did not want it to be known that it was supplying bunker-buster munitions that could be used for this purpose.[20][21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hoffman, Gil (29 November 2010). "Wikileaks: 'Peres Admitted Oslo Was Mistake'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Staff writer (29 November 2010). "Wikileaks: Israel Satisfied with Portrayal of Iran Position — Israel Has Expressed Satisfaction after the Mass Release of US Diplomatic Cables by Wikileaks, Saying It Proved the Jewish State's Position on Iran Was Consistent in Both Public and Private". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  3. ^ Krieger, Hilary Leila (30 November 2010). "Leak: State Dept. Sought Info on Palestinian Leaders". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Reporting and Collection Needs: Palestinian Issues. WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks cable:08STATE116392. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  5. ^ Scenesetter for the Secretary's January 13–15 visit to Israel. WikiLeaks. 8 January 2007. WikiLeaks cable:07TELAVIV64. Retrieved 1 December 2010. [dead link]
  6. ^ Katz, Yaakov (28 November 2010). "Wikileaks: Dagan Says Peace Process Will Achieve Nothing". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  7. ^ Staff writer (30 November 2010). "Wikileaks: PM 'Doesn't Want To Govern the West Bank'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  8. ^ Codel Cardin Discusses Iran, Syria, Palestinians. WikiLeaks. 26 February 2009. WikiLeaks cable:09TELAVIV457. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "Netanyahu said no peace with 'right of return': WikiLeaks". France 24/AFP. 2010-11-29. Archived from the original on 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  10. ^ [WikiLeaks Cables]. Ackerman's Meeting With Opposition Leader (Netanyahu). WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks cable:07TELAVIV1114. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "WikiLeaks: Israel aimed to keep Gaza economy on brink of collapse". Haaretz. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  12. ^ "WikiLeaks: Gaza jobless rate at 45%, five years after full blockade imposed". The Guardian. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  13. ^ Staff writer (29 November 2010). "WikiLeaks: Israel Wanted PA To Take Gaza". Ynetnews. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  14. ^ Somfalvi, Attila (20 December 2010). "WikiLeaks: Yadlin wanted Hamas takeover". Ynetnews. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "WikiLeaks: Israel demanded bribes for goods entering Gaza". Haaretz. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  16. ^ "WikiLeaks: IDF uses drones to assassinate Gaza militants". Haaretz. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  17. ^ Codel Ackerman's Meeting with Opposition Leader. WikiLeaks. 18 April 2007. WikiLeaks cable:07TELAVIV1114. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  18. ^ Staff writer (28 November 2010). "WikiLeaks: Dagan Wanted To Topple Iranian Regime". Ynetnews. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  19. ^ Mandel, Roi (29 November 2010). "WikiLeaks: Arab World According to Mossad Chief". Ynetnews. 11 December 2010.
  20. ^ Black, Ian (28 November 2010). "Israel Primed To Attack a Nuclear Iran — US Embassy Cables Show Security Service Has Told Washington 'All Options' Are on Table if Iranian Bomb Looks Inevitable". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  21. ^ US embassy cables: Ehud Barak sets deadline to resolve Iran nuclear ambitions, Copy of 02 June 2009 Confidential Cable, The Guardian.

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