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Dec-11-2010 01:09printcomments

WikiLeaks: Advancing an Israeli Agenda?

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?

Julian Assange
Salem-News.com

(OSAKA, Japan) - 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’s non-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 Time magazine, 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 Times to dub the war in Iraq “Mr. Murdoch’s War”?

Assange seems equally oblivious to the significant contribution made by the New 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 spinning the leaks to push America into an equally unnecessary but even more disastrous war with Iran.

Stranger than fiction Order Now

Given that the WikiLeaks revelations have been such an unexpected diplomatic coup for Israel, its American lobby appears to be strangely divided over the issue. On one side, there are those like David Frum, Jeffrey 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’s Weekly Standard, wants 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 writer and educator. Born and raised in Ireland, he has been living in Osaka, Japan since 1999. Salem-News.com is happy that this extremely diverse writer has joined forces with our team. In addition to writing a monthly column for the Irish language internet magazine Beo!, Maidhc's work has been published by Antiwar.com, Dissident Voice, Foreign Policy Journal, Khaleej Times, Media Monitors Network, Online Journal, Palestine Chronicle and many more. Maidhc Ó Cathail was asked to join the Salem-News team because of his fantastic world coverage. His reports covering events like the conflict in Palestine, show a fantastic overview of the developing events that are shaping world history. We look forward to sharing stories from this well connected individual with our readers. It is a tough and complicated world out there, and we're all better off with the additional education gleaned from Maidhc Ó Cathail's research and reporting. You can write to Maidhc at: maidhc98@yahoo.com




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Arielski December 12, 2010 4:14 pm (Pacific time)

Last time I checked, Christians also charge interest. Islamic banks charge "hidden interest" on mortgages by purchasing a property then "selling" it to a buyer with the hidden interest in the mortgage fees.

This has been carefully explained to me by Muslim friends - you would have found this out if you weren't so intent on insulting Jews.

Editor: You're completely full of it; pure BS.  Never once did I insult 'Jews' as you imply.That is not what I do; that does not reflected in anything I say, write or do.  I have great friends who are Jewish, you should concentrate on writing honestly and drop the paranoia a level or two.  You know the point I was making.


David December 11, 2010 2:45 pm (Pacific time)

And as every righteous Jew, Christian or Muslim ought to know and accept is that "Israel" only speaks in the name of Judaism; its acts contracy to Talmudic orthodoxy and is the real reason why Wikileaks is trying so hard to vindicate its own brand of secular and inhumane tyranny against the rest of mankind. Wikileaks seeks to sow divisions among Christians and Muslims and the Arab world.


anon December 11, 2010 12:51 pm (Pacific time)

You ignore the possibility that the truth is that Arab leaders use Israel as a scapegoat for the failures of their kleptocracies. When Arabs wonder why their living standard is barely above sub-Saharan Africa, the leaders tell them it's all the Zionists fault and furthermore their own fault for not having eliminated them in the past. This not only deflects blame but imposes shame on Arab citizens to question their own tyrants. That is why their secret conversations reveal that Israel is not a threat to them.

Editor: Please, don't you know what is going on, do you really need it explained to you?  A large portion of Arab people are religious and they follow the teachings of God.  God teaches man not to be greedy, not to steal, and not to kill.  The Israelis don't follow these rules, they also chose long ago to charge interest and the Bible makes it clear that this is not what man should do.  Israel has stolen land and driven millions into refugee camps.  Israel for many, is just a machine that kills and robs and behaves with total disregard for the most elementary lessons left for us in the Bible.  Israel's goal, quite obviously, is to wipe Palestine from the map, and the world isn't going to have it.  The biggest threat Israel has ever had, is itself.    


Yvette December 11, 2010 6:40 am (Pacific time)

They only released 1200/250,000 cables so far, with batches on different topics every day. how did this writer determine what is in them, and make such conclusions?


Brandulph Christophersèn December 11, 2010 3:33 am (Pacific time)

Brilliant, Mr. Maidhc Ó Cathail, just brilliant! Slainthe!

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