The U.S. and its allies are struggling to contain the damage caused by WikiLeaks, but there’s one country that needn’t worry much and can actually look at the disclosures as positive publicity: Israel. The documents show that the threat from Iran is not an illusion conjured up by the Zionist lobby and that Israel is not the imperialistic aggressor seeking to dominate and brutalize Palestinians as the country is so often characterized.
Out of all the cables released, none reflect negatively upon Israel, perhaps with the single exception of one where a diplomat says Prime Minister Netanyahu is “charming” but doesn’t keep promises. The documents actually show an Israel that is determined to safely give the Palestinians statehood and that has absolutely no desire to rule over the Gaza Strip and West Bank. One file from June 2009 shows that Israel asked Egypt and the Palestinian Authority to take control of Gaza after Operation Cast Lead would break Hamas’ grip on the territory. As Israel expected, neither one wanted to take on the task. Instead, the Arab world and even the Palestinians’ own representatives chose to sit on the sidelines and condemn Israel in the harshest of terms.
Another cable from February 26, 2009, shows Israel’s commitment to building the infrastructure for a viable Palestinian state in the West Bank. Netanyahu is recorded as talking about “economic peace” through a “bottom up” approach. He explained how he’d bypass the bureaucracy to allow for direct investment to stimulate economic progress so the people of the West Bank could “be offered real alternatives.” He remarked that there was larger anti-Israel protests during Operation Cast Lead in Western Europe than in the West Bank because of the latter’s exposure to the “violent, crazy” Hamas. These aren’t just words. Israelis are working in the West Bank to create a Palestinian state today. An example is how Palestinian farmers are being trained by Israeli agricultural experts. Israelis are also involved in various other Palestinian civic projects.
The WikiLeaks documents also debunk the notion that the dreaded “Israel lobby” is dragging us into war with Iran. The documents show that the Arab world, just as much if not more so than Israel, is shaking in their boots at the prospect of a nuclear Iran and is as equally convinced that their nuclear program is for making bombs, not energy.
Netanyahu articulately explained how these revelations show the reality behind the scenes that vindicates Israel by saying,
Our region has been hostage to a narrative that is the result of 60 years of propaganda, which paints Israel as the greatest threat. In reality, leaders understand that that view is bankrupt. For the first time in history, there is agreement that Iran is the threat.
Either the “Israel lobby” is so cunning that it has seduced the Arab world or Israel is right about Iran and the countries in the region agree about the threat.
The documents also show the Arab hypocrisy on the 2006 Lebanon War. When Israel invaded Lebanon in response to Hezbollah provocations, there was international outcry, especially from the Arab world. Only two years later in 2008, Saudi Arabia, which so ferociously condemned the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, called for an Arab invasion of Lebanon. The Saudi foreign minister told the U.S. that he sought to assemble a NATO-backed Arab League force to enter the country which “would keep out Hezbollah forever.” The Lebanese prime minister endorsed the plan and it was proposed to the Egyptians and Jordanians but the cable didn’t reveal their thoughts on it. The U.S. opposed it because it wasn’t seen as feasible. At least some of the Arab countries wanted to do exactly what Israel did but simply didn’t have the means.
Another cable also justifies some of Israel’s conduct during the 2006 war. Israel was widely condemned for attacks on ambulances that their intelligence indicated were being used as part of the enemy’s war effort. Most of the world chose to believe that Israel would target civilian ambulances because of its evil nature and rejected the justification. Now, it is revealed that an Iranian source confirmed to the U.S. that Iran was using the Iranian Red Crescent ambulances to ship weapons and personnel into Lebanon and also used the organization as a cover to infiltrate Iraq. The source said that he witnessed how one “humanitarian” plane was half-full of weapons before medical supplies were added as a cover.
WikiLeaks may be trying to expose alleged corruption and abuses by the West, but in the case of Israel, WikiLeaks has served more like an unwitting publicist.