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Cablegate, Israel and Palestine

In his archived blog, Julian Assange describes the History of Warfare:

The history of warfare is similarly subdivided, although here the phases are Retribution, Anticipation, and Diplomacy. Thus:

Retribution:

I’m going to kill you because you killed my brother.

Anticipation:

I’m going to kill you because I killed your brother.

Diplomacy:

I’m going to kill my brother and then kill you on the pretext that your brother did it.

Piquant, prophetic words in the light of the bloodletting proceeding the release of the first tranche of US diplomatic cables these are proving to be. The exercise of the serpentine craft of diplomacy will never be quite the same – after all, the US, who used its diplomats to spy upon their brethren, including in the UN, has been caught en flagrante. One would like to say one’s world view has been changed by the cables’ release, yet it hasn’t, it has been vindicated – global affairs managed by the hegemon are predicated on rewarding injustice, kleptocracy, avarice and sycophantic cowardice with arms sales and pandering, maintaining geostrategic imbalances which profit elites.

With the US baying for blood and Sweden in pursuit over charges claimed to be false by his lawyer, Julian Assange is now one of the most wanted men on the planet. Ecuador alone has offered him sanctuary, though now apparently withdrawn.

Here’s some significant cables of interest and news stories about the cables concerning Israel and Palestine.

Cables:

What Israel fears – truth and justice:

On 16 Nov 09, Israel and the US collude over follow up to the Goldstone Report.

DG Buchris also compared Israeli operations in Gaza to U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and stated that Israel would do whatever was necessary to protect its population. In response, ASD Vershbow recalled U.S. support for Israel in handling of the Goldstone report, and offered to share U.S. experience in investigating incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan as the GOI considered whether to conduct an additional investigation.

In the same cable,

Amos Gilad acknowledged the sometimes difficult position the U.S. finds itself in given its global interests, and conceded that Israel’s security focus is so narrow that its QME concerns often clash with broader American security interests in the region.

Two days later, there’s a hush up of US bunker busting bombs delivery to Israel along with other qualitative military edge revelations (18 Nov 09)

The Goldstone Report is a key threat (Dec 09)

‘Netanyahu commented that Israel currently faces three principal threats: Iran’s nuclear program, missile proliferation and the Goldstone Report.’

Netanyahu lies about Arab “Street” support for overthrow of Iran (really only 10% think Iran is a danger), indicates Israel’s ‘support’ of the PA and conflation of ‘peace’ with Iran’s supposed ambitions, (Dec09)

¶5. (C) Netanyahu said the West Bank had remained quiet during Operation Cast Lead because the Palestinians do not want to live under Hamas’ rule. He asserted that according to recent polls, Abu Mazen and Fatah would easily win an election, even in Gaza. Netanyahu stressed that he was not pushing for the Palestinians to hold elections, but was instead focused on promoting the expansion of the West Bank economy by removing both physical and bureaucratic obstacles. He acknowledged that the PA is “doing a good job” on security, though he added that PA leaders are not aware of everything Israel is doing to support the PA’s security. If we could add a political process to the cooperation that currently exists, we could get security, economic development, and peace. Netanyahu warned, however, that if Iran gets a nuclear bomb, the peace process would be “washed away.” Even Israel’s peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan would come under enormous pressure.

¶7. (C) Representative Israel asked Netanyahu about the timetable for Iran to achieve a nuclear weapon. Netanyahu responded that Iran has the capability now to make one bomb or they could wait and make several bombs in a year or two. It is important to bear in mind that the Iranian regime was exposed as a fraud during their presidential elections. The Iranian people detest the regime and have shown great courage
in the streets. The exposure of the Qom facility also helped convince doubters in the international community that Iran has a weapons program. Iran has a weak economy and a fractured political system, so it is vulnerable to sanctions. The time to act diplomatically is now, Netanyahu said, adding that we still have a year or two to stop the Iranian program. Netanyahu said he thought President Obama understands Iran perfectly. The Arab leaders hope Iran will be stopped, there is broad Arab and European support for “vigorous steps.” Chairman Skelton asked whether the Arabs would state their support publicly. Netanyahu replied they might not, but it would not make a large difference since the Arab “street” will not rise up in support of the Iranian regime.

Egyptian complicity with fostering collaborator PA – brief to Petraeus (July 09)

Soliman explained that Egypt’s three primary objectives with the Palestinians were to maintain calm in Gaza, undermine Hamas, and build popular support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. On Gaza, Soliman said Egypt worked closely with Israel to coordinate humanitarian assistance shipments and was encouraging the Israelis to allow more assistance into Gaza. Soliman said he was still seeking a “tahdiya” (calm) agreement between Hamas and Israel, but noted that Israel’s lack of a Gaza strategy and desire to keep Hamas under pressure made any agreement difficult.

US National HUMINT Collection Directive for spying on ‘views, plans and tactics of the Palestinian Authority,
including its representative to the UN, to gain support in the UNSC, UNGA, or UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for its strategies and positions on Palestinian-Israeli issues, including from Russia and EU countries, especially France, Germany, and UK; views of Secretary General,s Special Envoy and UNSC on possible settlement of the Shab’a Farms dispute to include Syria/Lebanon border demarcation; Secretariat views regarding water management as part of the Middle East Peace Process, including domestic and regional competition for allocation; Quartet views on Syria’s policies and approach toward Israel and Palestinians and on Syrian motives behind and efforts to subvert or support Israeli-Palestinian negotiations; UN efforts to influence negotiating positions on territorial boundaries, water resources and management, and right of return; views, plans and tactics of HAMAS to gain support in the UNSC or UNGA for its strategies and positions on HAMAS-Israeli issues, and on HAMAS-Palestinian Authority issues, including from Russia, China, Iran, and EU countries, especially France, Germany, and the UK; Information on UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) activities in Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank, and its relations with HAMAS/Hizballah; Plans and intentions of member states to support/oppose US priority to reduce the number of Middle East resolutions’. (July 09)

As the Guardian affirms, “Humint is part of the CIA, which deals with overseas spying overseas and is one of at least 12 US intelligence agencies.”

US State biographic reporting on Palestinians (Oct 08)

More posturing:

Lieberman tells Russia Israel was not intending to attack Iran while Russian Lavrov tells Lieberman the US attack of Iraq was ‘a “present” to Iran (June 09)

“Qatari diplomats.. had to cross through Israel – Egypt would not allow them to enter Gaza from Rafah” (Mar 09)

“Netanyahu insisted not one [Palestinian] refugee could ever return” (Apr 07)

“Only Israeli military operations against Hamas in the West Bank prevent them from expanding control beyond Gaza, lamented Dagan, without which Fatah would fall within one month and Abbas would join his “mysteriously wealthy” son in Qatar.” (Mar 07)

In June 09,Barak describes Pakistan as his “private nightmare”, urged US to confront Iran – in July 07, Dagan previously saw “a Pakistan ruled by radical Islamists with a nuclear arsenal at their disposal as his biggest nightmare”

In April 09, Netanyahu’s vision of a Palestinian faux statelet – “without the power to enter into treaties” is revealed. He didn’t mention this in his unctuous Bar Ilan speech in June 09, whilst later claiming on 23 December 09 that ‘the Bar Ilan address last June had been difficult for him’.

Netanyahu’s excuse for continuing brutal occupation in April 09 – ‘if Israel withdrew from the West Bank, Hamas would take over’

Throughout the cables, Israel links ‘peace’ with Palestinians with the US confronting Iran repeatedly.

On 23 December 09, Netanyahu affirms this linkage: .

Netanyahu listed steps the GOI has taken to support Abu Mazen, noting that the PA is “doing a good job” on security. A nuclear Iran, however, would “wash away” all progress as well as undermining Israel’s peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan. Netanyahu said that Iran is vulnerable to sanctions and urged the U.S. to increase the pressure on Iran, with like-minded countries if Russia and China will not support new sanctions in the Security Council. Netanyahu commented that there is broader Arab and European support for tough sanctions than in the past, although the Arabs may not say so publicly.

The myth that the “Palestine-Israel question is central” is also peddled by Arab dictatorships to gullible Americans – as long as the so-called peace process is a US priority, Arab regimes will continue their con job. (April 09)

On 13 February, 2010, Qatar’s Amir suggests

“Israelis are also using Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons as a diversion from settling matters with the Palestinians. The historical backdrop of Arab-Persian relations does not help.”

Amir also says

Hamas will accept the 1967 border with Israel, but will not say it publicly so as to lose popular Palestinian support. … Qatar can help move Hamas, because Qatar does not “play in their internal politics.” That does not mean Qatar shares Hamas’ ideology.

Kerry lays down the US terms

Senator Kerry noted that one of the biggest problems for Israel is the potential return of 5-6 million Palestinian refugees. The parties broached the return issue in discussions at Taba and agreed that the right of Palestinian return would be subject to later negotiation, pointed out the Chairman. If we can proceed from that point on the right of return, the Senator believes there is an “artful way” to frame the negotiations on borders, land swaps, and Jerusalem as a shared capital.

In November 09, Gilad suggests Egypt’s role in pushing reconciliation between Hamas and the PA is ‘not helpful and often counterproductive, but that he expects Egypt to continue floating the idea at future junctures.’

Israeli MFA Hadas boasts of Gulf Arabs “They believe Israel can work magic” because of the US special relationship (Mar 09)

Did Sharon’s antagonism and tilt toward Iran in March 2005 trigger a reignition of the Arab dictatorships’ hostility against Iran? Sharon was concerned the US stance would move toward the EU’s.

‘The MFA’s office director for the Gulf states said that Israel would maintain its low-profile diplomatic activities, such as supplying IAEA members with intelligence material related to the Iranian program. She said the MFA believes that any overt Israeli pressure would backfire, leading to a surge of Arab support for Iran and focusing attention on Israel’s own nuclear activities.’ The US embassy noted: “At the same time, we should recognize that Israeli intelligence briefings will understandably focus on worst-case scenarios and may not match current USG assessments.”

Just two months later,

“MbZ [Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed] appeared convinced that it was only a matter of time before Israel or the U.S. would strike Iranian nuclear facility targets. U.S. installations in the Gulf could be targeted by Iran in the aftermath of such an action, he warned. MbZ agreed with the USG,s tough line with Tehran and the Europeans. A nuclear-armed Iran would destabilize the Gulf region and possibly allow terrorist access to WMD. MbZ asked Lt. Gen. Dunn whether it would be possible for anyone to “take out” all locations of concern in Iran via air power; Lt. Gen. Dunn voiced doubt that this would be possible given the dispersed locations. “Then it will take ground forces!” MbZ exclaimed. Ambassador noted that the UAE’s Director of Military Intelligence, BG Essa al Mazrouei, would pay counterpart visits this week to CENTCOM, J-2, DIA, and CIA for discussions on Iran and Iraq-related matters. MbZ said he looked forward to sharing “contingency planning” scenarios in future conversations.”

Years later in April 09 , the UAE is rewarded by Clinton for its services to empire.

The Secretary expressed the Administration’s commitment to the U.S.-UAE Agreement for Cooperation on the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (aka 123 Agreement). She emphasized that our goal is to get the agreement completed as smoothly as possible. AbZ said that he is delighted with the progress on the agreement. He added that the UAE’s goal is to create a gold standard for a nuclear power program. Then, because of the strong commitments the UAE has made, it will be impossible to have improper use of its nuclear facilities.

¶6. (S) Turning to the need to be prepared to respond to Congress, the Secretary committed to form a State Department committee including H, NEA and ISN to work on the notification. The Secretary noted the importance of implementing the UAE export control law and continued UAE efforts against illicit Iranian trade and Iranian front companies. The Secretary encouraged action on nonproliferation treaty commitments as especially helpful actions the UAE could take to support our efforts. AbZ noted that the UAE would formally join the additional protocol on April 8.

¶7. (S) AbZ agreed that the August 2007 export control law had some “loopholes” and said that the UAE Cabinet “revisited” the issue last week. Otaiba said that AbZ had personally intervened to ensure timely action. Otaiba elaborated that the committee charged with implementing the export control law will have its first meeting later this month to begin operations.

¶8. (S) Otaiba noted that, even in the absence of a formal implementation committee, the UAE is taking action – citing a recent case involving German-made Siemens computers and a Chinese ship bound for Iran interdicted in port in the UAE.

In July 07 : ‘According to Dagan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States all fear Iran, but want someone else “to do the job for them.”‘

Noted that in contradiction to oft-repeated public claims, Mossad chief, Dagan denied the existence of Al Qaeda in the OPT in 05: ‘he feels that most Palestinians are not searching for “foreign flags,” such as al-Qaeda, under which to rally, because those inclined to do so are already being well-mobilized under existing groups in the West Bank and Gaza.’ (Mar 05)

Israel, a Promised Land For Organised Crime (15 May 09) :

Organized crime (OC) has longstanding roots in Israel, but in recent years there has been a sharp increase in the reach and impact of OC networks. In seeking a competitive advantage in such lucrative trades as narcotics and prostitution, Israeli crime groups have demonstrated their ability and willingness to engage in violent attacks on each other with little regard for innocent bystanders. The Israeli National Police (INP) and the courts have engaged in a vigorous campaign against organized crime leaders, including the creation of a new specialized anti-OC unit, but they remain unable to cope with the full scope of the problem. Organized crime in Israel now has global reach, with direct impact inside the United States. Post is currently utilizing all available tools to deny Israeli OC figures access to the United States in order to prevent them from furthering their criminal activities on U.S. soil.

19th Russian property in Jerusalem and the West Bank returned by PA and Israel [my comment: what about return of similar Palestinian property with deeds?] (11 July 08)

xxxxx told us that the return of historically Russian property in the Holy Land was a symbol of Russia’s post-Soviet cultural and religious renaissance. The properties, which had either been abandoned by the USSR or sold to Israel, would be used for facilities for religious pilgrims and tourists, as well as Russian language schools and clinics that would benefit local residents, including the large number of Russian-speaking Israelis.

The MFA was also considering establishing a consulate at the compound in Jerusalem.xxxxx said that at present Russia had only its Embassy in Tel Aviv and a small Mission in Ramallah to handle relations
with the PA. A presence in Jerusalem would help provide assistance to the many Russian citizens living in Israel as well as Russian tourists, whose numbers, presently estimated at 200,000 per year, were expected to grow significantly after the Russian-Israeli agreement to end visa requirements became operative in September.

Is this consular presence a toehold for future duplicitous assertion by Israel of Jerusalem as its capital?

Israeli is annoyed with the loss of influence of the military in Turkey (Nov 09)

News Stories:

Haaretz: WikiLeaks exposé: Israel tried to coordinate Gaza war with Abbas

Israel consulted Egypt, Fatah on Gaza war: WikiLeaks

Israel asked PA to retake Gaza after war – Ma’an News Agency

In Haaretz, Abbas denies he was informed about the Cast Lead attack.

Juan Cole on Israel’s racist moan about its jewish majority demographics being endangered by the threat of Iran which Israel itself beats up.

Richard Silverstein picks up several more revelations about Israel’s posturing and maleficence toward Palestinians from the cables.

Antoun Issa: Understanding Wikileaks

Robert Fisk: Now we know. America really doesn’t care about injustice in the Middle East. Fisk picks up on Netanyahu’s demonical concept of a bantustan Palestinian state mentioned above:

There’s a wonderful moment in the cables when the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, explains to a US congressional delegation on 28 April last year that “a Palestinian state must be demilitarised, without control of its airspace and electro-magnetic field [sic], and without the power to enter into treaties or control its border”. Well goodbye, then, to the “viable” (ergo Lord Blair of Isfahan) Palestinian state we all supposedly want. And the US Congress lads and ladies appear to have said nothing.

Woolly Days: Wikileaks cable reveals Syria’s price for US support

Democracy Now: U.S. Facing Global Diplomatic Crisis Following Massive WikiLeaks Release of Secret Diplomatic Cables Vid and transcript with ‘a roundtable discussion with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg; Greg Mitchell, who writes the Media Fix blog at The Nation; Carne Ross, a British diplomat for 15 years who resigned before the Iraq war; and As’ad AbuKhalil, a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus.’

Jeff Sparrow on The Drum:

But when it comes to governments, the old adage is spot on. With the WikiLeaks cables, we’re not discussing personal modesty. We’re talking about decisions with real implications for a world we all have to live in.

No-one wants to see Robert Gibbs naked. But, however embarrassing the US spokespeople might find it, WikiLeaks’s enhanced pat-down is a good thing for democracy.

There’s some junk that just needs to be touched.

Maan Newsagency: Germany urged US to threaten Israel with UN vote:

Two weeks before Israel froze most settlement construction in November 2009, a senior German official urged the US to threaten Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with diplomatic pressure.

German National Security Adviser Christoph Heusgen suggested that if Netanyahu did not agree to a moratorium, Washington could withdraw its support for blocking a vote on Richard Goldstone’s UN fact-finding mission report at the UN Security Council, US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks say.

Haaretz: The chief of Pakistan’s spy agency said he had contacted Israeli officials to head off potential attacks on Israeli targets in India, according to an October 2009 U.S. diplomatic cable.

Pasha asked Ambassador to convey to Washington that he had followed up on threat information that an attack would be launched against India between September-November. He had been in direct touch with the Israelis on possible threats against Israeli targets in India.

Antony Loewenstein Unleashed : Where’s the media’s backbone over WikiLeaks?

Assange makes no secret of wanting to harm the image of the US and lessen American power. Indeed, in an interview this week with America’s ABC he said that Washington simply wasn’t credible when they claimed the release of documents would hurt individuals.

“US officials have for 50 years trotted out this line when they are afraid the public is going to see how they really behave”, Assange said.

James Petras: Wikileaks, Corea del Norte y atentados en Irán

Cable Searching Tools:

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45 comments to Cablegate, Israel and Palestine

  • I’ve now categorised cables regarding Palestine and Israel in pages ordered by date. These are accessible from the Wikileaks drop down at the top of the page.

  • 14. 6. 2006: ALLEGED ISRAELI CORRUPTION AT KARNI IMPEDES U.S.

    MARKET ACCESS

    S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 TEL AVIV 002301

    SIPDIS

    NOFORN

    E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/14/2016 TAGS: ETRD, ECON, PGOV, KWBG, PINR, IS, SCRM, ECONOMY AND FINANCE, ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS SUBJECT: ALLEGED ISRAELI CORRUPTION AT KARNI IMPEDES U.S. MARKET ACCESS

    REF: TEL AVIV 2120

    Classified By: Ambassador Richard H. Jones, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

    This is a joint cable with Consulate General Jerusalem.

    1. (S/NF) Summary: U.S. businesses allege that corruption by Israeli officials at Karni crossing is impeding their access to the Gaza market. As of late May 34 shipments of American goods, amounting to nearly USD 1.9 million dollars, have been waiting three to four months to cross into Gaza. U.S. distributors assert they are being asked to pay “special fees” which amount to as much as 75 times the standard processing fee as quoted by GOI officials. According to one major American distributor, corruption extends to Karni management and involves logistics companies working as middlemen for military and civilian officials at the terminal. An open and transparent truck registration system and the development and publication of clear procedures, charges and service standards for Karni would go a long way to fight corruption and advance the Agreement on Movement and Access, goal of effective service standards for the border crossings. End summary and comment.

    ————————- ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION ————————-

    2. (S/NF) According to business contacts, allegations of corruption at Karni have a long history. Recently, COGAT head General Yossef Mishlev acknowledged the problem telling EconCouns that corruption was the root cause of backlogged shipments waiting to cross into Gaza at Karni and that some businessmen have had to pay NIS 9,000 (USD 2,500) to guarantee that their shipments could cross (reftel). However, the fact that Karni has been closed nearly 40 percent of the time has exacerbated the problem of access and appears to have forced up the cost of bribes, Embassy business contacts allege. The normal cost of shipping cargo is USD 600-650 to transport a load from the West Bank or the port of Ashdod to Karni and, according to Israeli Airports Authority (IAA, which manages Karni terminal) Deputy Director General Yoram Shapira, the standard processing fee at Karni is NIS 370 (USD 82) for a full trailer, NIS 350 (USD 78) for a semi-trailer, and NIS 250 (USD 56) for a single trailer. Coca Cola distributor Joerg Hartmann (strictly protect) claimed to econoff that the cost of guaranteeing that one,s shipment will cross into Gaza on a certain day increases sharply after a long closure, while the price goes down after the terminal has experienced a long period without any closures. Hartmann also alleged that he has been asked to pay as much as NIS 13,000-15,000 (USD 2,889-USD 3,333) per truckload, which includes a flat fee plus an additional two shekels per case charge, which is not recorded on the invoice. The AmCit Westinghouse general manager supplied FCS with invoices where he was charged NIS 14,000 and NIS 28,000 (USD 3,111 and USD 6,222) per truckload. Caterpillar alleges that it was asked to pay NIS 12,000 (USD 2,667) to move two small caterpillar generators through the passage, which the company refused to pay.

    3. (S/NF) What does one get for $3,000 payment to move cargo? Hartmann said that for that price, your truck is promised the first place in line or a spot near the head of the so-called “Israeli line” which does move. Hartmann said that usually two or three lines at Karni are reserved for Israeli companies/shippers, which he speculated pay a much lower amount to get their products across the border. These lines process transfers much more rapidly than the other lines at Karni. In any case, he alleged, the queue at Karni is “a joke” because everyone whose shipment is going to move has paid a bribe long before the trucks get in line. Hartmann said he tried to bypass the exorbitant bribes by making a deal with Coca Cola Israel to use their Beer Sheva warehouse and have them truck his merchandise to Karni. However, IDF officer Mikhail Sorolnik told him that was not permissible, he claimed.

    4. (C/NF) Distributors of American companies selling products in Gaza have complained to emboffs that the lack of a clear and predictable truck registration system enables widespread corruption at Karni crossing and impedes their ability to do business. These companies include Coca Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Caterpillar, Philip Morris, Westinghouse, Hewlett Packard, Motorola, Aramex, and Dell computers. As of late May, according to data compiled by FCS, 34 shipments of American goods, amounting to nearly USD 1.9 million dollars, have been waiting three to four months to cross into Gaza. These businessmen have criticized the fact that calls to the phone reservation system for receiving a date and time to cross are never answered and that their discussions with GOI officials have resulted in only temporary (one or two day) improvements. (Note: Many of the businesses affected have operations in the West Bank and ship from there to Gaza, but shipments coming directly from the port of Ashdod similarly suffer. End note.) While these businesmen concede that security concerns and frequent closures this year have severely cut overall imports into Gaza, they say these factors do not explain why these truckloads of U.S. imports have had to wait as much as four months to enter the territory, while some trucks, according to the AmCit general manager for Westinghouse, have been delivering two shipments in one day. Unable to cross, American products are forced to waste unproductive days waiting at Karni and then spend weeks on end in a warehouse. Under such conditions, U.S. businesses are unable to plan effectively and incur additional costs.

    —————– HOW DOES IT WORK? —————–

    5. (S/NF) Hartmann claimed that a certain high-level official at the terminal heads the bribery ring. Directly under him, Hartmann alleges, are an Arab-Israeli, another Israeli civilian, and two IDF officers, who have met with Hartmann and other businessmen. Hartmann said that he has met with the terminal official, who discussed the price of bribes required to facilitate the movement of goods through the terminal. He said the usual middlemen for bribes are logistic companies with close ties to the Karni terminal management. He also said that the terminal official works with Palestinians. Hartmann recounted one occasion when he met a Palestinian middleman in Gaza and drove with him to the Karni terminal for a meeting with the terminal official where bribes were discussed. (Comment: Hartmann is not the only contact to have named this particular official as the head of the bribery ring, but has been the only one willing to discuss the set-up in detail. End comment.)

    —————— EFFORTS TO RESOLVE ——————

    6. (C/NF) Hartmann and representatives of Westinghouse, Caterpillar, Proctor & Gamble, and Philip Morris joined emboffs for a meeting on May 26 with Karni officials. During this meeting, the business representatives vociferously complained to Karni officials about the bribes they had to pay. The officials did not address the issue of bribes, but suggested that the USG either push the Palestinian Authority to allow the businessmen to ship through Kerem Shalom or fund the purchase of more conveyor belts at Karni.

    7. (C/NF) Hartmann is chairman of the local Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). OSAC, which is affiliated with the Department and supported by the U.S. Commercial Service, focuses on security issues, but has also served as an umbrella group to tackle the delay problem. Hartmann said that OSAC tried to reach an agreement with Karni management that would have had OSAC members working through a single logistics company and receiving a guarantee from the management that six of the group,s shipments would cross each day. Finalizing that proposed MOU has stalled since the victory of Hamas in January. Consequently, Hartmann said that he and the other U.S. companies would prefer that there be a solution based on a real registration/management system that is transparent and open.

    ——- COMMENT ——-

    8. (C/NF) The GOI,s commitments to the Agreement on Movement and Access (AMA) notwithstanding, the deeply problematic procedures and allegations of endemic corruption at Karni terminal constitute a major non-tariff barrier to trade. An open and transparent truck registration system, such as a website where one could register and monitor the movement of the queue would go a long way toward resolving this problem. The development and publication of clear procedures, charges and service standards for Karni will advance the AMA goal of creating an effective system for trade with the Palestinian territories. Embassy officers continue to meet with COGAT and IAA officials to try to resolve this issue. The Ambassador will meet with appropriate ministerial-level officials to seek a solution.

  • 4.12.2008: GOI CALLS GAZA CASH CRISIS A HAMAS PLOY

    S E C R E T TEL AVIV 002713

    SIPDIS

    NEA/IPA; TREASURY FOR GLASER, D. AND KIMMIT, R.

    E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/04/2018 TAGS: EFIN, KNNP, KTFN, KPAL, PTER, PREL, IS SUBJECT: GOI CALLS GAZA CASH CRISIS A HAMAS PLOY

    Classified By: CDA Luis G. Moreno for reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

    1.(S) Econoff called Udi Levi, Counterterrorism Finance Bureau Director at the National Security Council (NSC) and a senior intelligence officer on December 2 to press for release of NIS 250 million to the Gaza banking system, as requested by the Palestinian Monetary Authority. Levi said continued rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza, stalemate in negotions on release of Hamas-held Israeli Defense Force soldier Gilad Shalit, and new information on Hamas access to the Palestinian Authority salary payments funded by the requested transfer all made it unlikely that the GOI would honor the request.

    2.(S) Levi did say that the GOI is considering a policy to permit about NIS 40 million in new liquidity to enter the Gaza Strip banks on a monthly basis. The exact amount is still under discussion, said Levi, but the Israeli security services have agreed that monthly transfers of some amount of shekels to Gaza are necessary to avoid collapse of the banking system there.

    3.(S) However, Levi noted GOI intelligence has indications that Gaza banks are being forced by Hamas to underreport their true reserve holdings, so it is difficult for the GOI to assess the current state of the banking system in Gaza. He said that the banks have had no choice but to follow Hamas instructions and conduct business as if they were operating on insufficient reserves. He posited that the present pre-Eid crisis might be an attempt by Hamas to further consolidate its power in Gaza though he was vague on how the crisis would forward the Hamas agenda. Regarding the PA,s payroll, Levi told econoff that it included Hamas members and many other questionable individuals that the GOI did not believe to be working as civil servants for the Fatah-controlled PA. He offered to share all GOI information on the topic in a meeting with relevant USG officials at their earliest convenience. We will take him up on that offer and report septel.

    4.(S) Comment: USG interlocutors at all levels have been urging the GOI to provide the needed December salary payments and greater certainty to Gaza,s banking sector going forward. Most recently, Charge raised the NIS 250 million request with COGAT/MOD PolMil Director Amos Gilad evening of December 3. Gilad,s response was, “Theyre not getting a dime”. However, we do not expect that to be the last word from the GOI on the subject.

    5.(S) Comment continued: Going forward, the GOI may set the monthly transfer floor somewhat higher than the 40 million shekels mentioned by Levi, but it is unlikely to eliminate uncertainty completely by setting the floor at the roughly NIS 250 million average level requested by the PA over the past few months. Therefore, we expect this issue to remain an agenda item in the Joint Economic Committee for the foreseeable future, and anticipate continued pressure for USG intervention in the monthly transfer process. Of greater concern is Levis claim to have new evidence that the PAs current Gaza salaries list is tainted by Hamas sympathizers. We will work with the GOI to verify that claim and to make sure the PA has sufficient information to re-vet the list, if necessary.

    ********************************************* ********************

    Visit Embassy Tel Avivs Classified Website:

    You can also access this site through the State Departments Classified SIPRNET website.

  • 3.11.2008 CASHLESS IN GAZA?

    S E C R E T TEL AVIV 002447

    SIPDIS

    NEA/IPA INR/TNC TREASURY FOR GLASER, D.

    E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/28/2018 TAGS: PREL, KPAL, KTFN, EFIN, IS SUBJECT: CASHLESS IN GAZA?

    REF: A. 10/22/08 AGOR-BURNETT HOLMSTROM ET. AL. E-MAIL B. TEL AVIV 2144 C. TEL AVIV 2291 D. TEL AVIV 1742 E. TEL AVIV 1508 F. TEL AVIV 1075 G. TEL AVIV 624 H. 07 TEL AVIV 3201 I. JERUSALEM 1840

    Classified By: DCM Luis G. Moreno for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

    ——-

    SUMMARY

    ——-

    1.(S) Since the Hamas takeover, Israel has designated Gaza as a &hostile entity,” and maintained an economic embargo against the territory. Under this designation, decisions on shekels in circulation in Gaza and the territorys economy in general are treated by the GOI as security matters, and therefore are subject to the same high levesl of uncertainty that the GOI uses to keep potential sources of security threat off-balance. Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis. The Palestinian Authoritys request for a guaranteed “floor” transfer rate of NIS 100 million per month will not be seriously considered by the GOI until after January 2009, when the Palestinian political situation becomes more clear. In any case, given the size of the population and economy in Gaza, GOI interlocutors find it implausible that the number of workers on the Palestinian Authority,s (PA) payroll there and the amount of money to be paid each month accurately reflect the current size of the territory,s civil service or its future government service requirements, nor do they agree with the PAs contention that these payments are buying loyalty. Furthermore, GOI officials doubt the effectiveness and authority of the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) to regulate and police banks in Gaza. Israeli officials reject the PA,s argument that denying banks the liquidity to pay PA salaries in full bolsters the Hamas regime. While some acknowledge the gains to Hamas from a weakened formal banking sector in Gaza, they argue that such gains are small relative to the cost of giving Hamas greater access to shekels or the economic benefits they bring to Gazans. A USG policy that encourages the GOI to review its present policies (as requested by the Office of the Quartet Representative and the PA) while pressing the Israelis to approve as much funding each month as possible under security constraints, assisting the PA to improve its regulatory regimes and due diligence procedures, and continuing to foster direct dialogue between officials of the GOI and PA on Gaza issues in the monthly Joint Economic Commission meetings is our best bet for minimizing economic/political gains to Hamas in Gaza.

    ————————

    GAZA IS A HOSTILE ENTITY

    ————————

    2.(C) While the GOI believes that maintaining the shekel as the currency of the Palestinian Territories is in Israel,s interests, it treats decisions regarding the amount of shekels in circulation in Gaza as a security matter. Requests by Palestinian banks to transfer shekels into Gaza are ultimately approved, partially approved, or denied by the National Security Council (NSC), an organ of the Israeli security establishment, not by the Bank of Israel (BOI). As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to econoffs on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge (see reftel &D8). The PAs request to set an NIS 100 million floor on monthly transfers to Gaza is being looked at, but no action will be taken until after January 2009, when the Palestinians political situation becomes more clear. Complicating the Gaza issue, and Palestinian banking as a whole, is Bank Hapoalim,s recent decision to terminate its correspondent banking relationship with the Palestinian banking sector (see reftel &C8). Hapoalim remains determined to stand by its objective to sever ties on November 30, though observers have their doubts that Hapoalim will follow through on the initiative (septel).

    3.(SBU) The GOIs monetary policy towards Gaza is consistent with its declaration that Gaza is a “hostile entity.” Some observers have told Emboffs that political pressure arising from the issue of captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, may have influenced high-level Israeli officials to tighten their stance on monetary policy (see ref &A8). However, this has not been raised or confirmed by any high-level GOI contacts. The GOI position on cash to Gaza has remained negative since the Knessets declaration that it was a hostile entity.

    ——————————————— —————

    THE PAYROLL DILEMMA: WHO IS ACTUALLY RECEIVING PA PAYCHECKS IN HAMAS-CONTROLLED GAZA?

    ——————————————— —————

    4.(S) The PA contends that Hamas, ability to pay its workers, salaries each month combined with the inability of the PA to do so causes further deterioration in support for PA/Fatah relative to Hamas (reftel &I8). The GOI, on the other hand, believes that many of the estimated 77,000 wage earners on the PAs payroll may actually be Hamas members or affiliates. Israeli security analysts argue that a considerable portion of the civil service salaries that the PA attempts to pay each month to its Gazan employees actually find their way to Hamas or Hamas supporters (see reftel “D”). They have therefore determined that full coverage of the payroll is contrary to Israel,s security interests, even if Hamas gains some political advantage from being able to pay its salaries in full. Whether money finds its way into the territory by means of the PA payroll or the Hamas payroll, says the GOI, Hamas experiences a net increase in its funding. Israeli analysis suggests that it is best to deny the terrorist regime a larger pool of funds in Gaza, no matter the origin, preferring to minimize Hamas, ability to purchase weapons or equipment for use against Israeli civilians. Thus, they reject the PA,s argument that denying banks the liquidity to pay PA salaries in full bolsters the Hamas regime (see reftel &I8).

    5.(S) Furthermore, GOI officials, while often praising the credentials of PA technocrats, doubt the effectiveness and authority of the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) to regulate and police Palestinian, and especially Gazan banks. This double standard in the treatment of Gaza and the West Bank by the GOI is yet another example of how Gaza is becoming increasingly isolated from the West Bank, despite the best efforts of the PA/Fatah to maintain unity. These issues come to the fore at the end of every month when the PA tries to make payment to its &employees8 in Gaza.

    —————————————

    HOW MUCH MONEY DOES GAZA ACTUALLY HAVE?

    —————————————

    6.(S) Observers speculate as to the amount of shekels circulating in Gaza. The BOI has established a history of routinely approving all requests from the Palestinian banks to exchange spoiled shekel notes from Gaza for new notes. This is not a security issue as it does not increase the total number of shekels in circulation. In order to support a minimal level of commerce and provide for minimal necessities such as food, utilities, and medical supplies, analysts agree that there must also be a certain outflow of cash from the territory to Israel, the West Bank, or other countries. The September 11, 2008 report of the International Crisis Group Middle East Briefing estimates this outflow as 30 percent of Gaza,s total shekel holdings each month. Unfortunately, since Gaza tends more and more towards a cash economy based upon movement of goods through its tunnels to the Sinai, it becomes increasingly difficult to estimate this amount with accuracy. Udi Levi (strictly protect), a high-ranking official in the Israeli security establishment, commented to Econcouns in October that at least 1.8 billion shekels are currently unaccounted for in Gaza.

    ——————————————— —–

    WHO APPROVES THE INTRODUCTION OF NEW CASH TO GAZA?

    ——————————————— —–

    7.(C) The NSC, an organ of the Israeli security and intelligence community, ultimately has the final say in permitting new liquidity into Gaza. When the PA or a Palestinian commercial bank ask to move shekel bank notes into Gaza, the request is usually submitted to the BOI. The BOI defers to the NSC though it may act in an advisory capacity to inform the NSC on the state of the Gazan economy or possible consequences of action or failure to act. When the NSC ultimately approves a particular amount, the IDF routinely permits the cash to enter Gaza. In determining how much new liquidity can enter Gaza at any given time, the NSC considers several factors, including the humanitarian situation in the territory. The NSC abides by the principal that Gaza should receive just enough money for the basic needs of the population but it is not interested in returning the Gazan economy to a state of normal commerce and business. The agency tries to approve a reasonable amount of new money for entry into the territory each month; however, it will not permit any large scale transfer of assets from Ramallah-based banks to their branches in Gaza for fear of improving the purchasing power of entities wishing to harm Israel. NSC officials have been unable to advise econoffs of any particular formula used in arriving at a figure, but the fluid state of Gazan, PA, and Israeli politics make it difficult to anticipate factors that might have a bearing on the decision from month to month.

    ————————–

    SO WHAT SHOULD THE USG DO?

    ————————–

    8.(S) Embassy Tel Aviv has encouraged the GOI to review its policy on Gaza liquidity, as requested by the Office of the Quartet Representative and the PA. As noted above, we do not expect that review to result in any changes until the political situation between Hamas and Fatah becomes more clear, presumably after January 9, 2009. In the meantime, we believe the USG should continue to encourage the Israelis to approve as much funding as possible each month, consistent with our mutual political/security objectives in Gaza. We should continue to assist the PA to improve its regulatory regimes and due diligence. Finally, the USG should continue to promote use of the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Economic Committee as the appropriate venue for resolving Gaza liquidity issues.

    ********************************************* ********************

    Visit Embassy Tel Avivs Classified Website:

    You can also access this site through the State Departments Classified SIPRNET website.

  • 26.7.2007: APHSCT TOWNSEND RECEIVES ACTION PLAN ON PALESTINIANS FROM ISRAELI NSC

    S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 002281

    SIPDIS

    SIPDIS

    WHITE HOUSE FOR APHSCT TOWNSEND; TREASURY FOR U/S LEVEY; NSC FOR ABRAMS.

    E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/16/2017 TAGS: PTER, PREL, KNNP, KWBG, EFIN, IR, IS SUBJECT: APHSCT TOWNSEND RECEIVES ACTION PLAN ON PALESTINIANS FROM ISRAELI NSC

    REF: TEL AVIV 1966

    Classified By: Charge daffaires Gene A. Cretz for reasons 1.4 (B/D).

    1. (S) SUMMARY: Frances Fragos Townsend, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHSCT) met with Israeli National Security Council (NSC) officials on July 12. Danny Arditi, Head of the NSC Counterterrorism Bureau, presented a plan to facilitate increased financial support for the Palestinian government of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, while mitigating the risks of new funding for terrorists and the Hamas “government” in Gaza. The core of the proposal was the establishment of an active Palestinian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) with supervision from the United States or the European Union. NSC Chairman Ilan Mizrahi offered Townsend a broader analysis of regional threats, focusing on the specter of Iranian influence and what he viewed as the growing confidence of al-Qaeda-related groups. NSC officials additionally presented an action plan for disrupting Hizballahs terrorist operations through an aggressive legal strategy against the organizations international criminal network. END SUMMARY.

    ———————————————

    Terrorist Finance Controls Key to Gaza Policy

    ———————————————

    2. (S) Brigadier General Danny Arditi, a counterterrorism advisor to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, presented Townsend with a plan for increased cooperation with the Fayyad government, facilitated by improved monitoring of the Palestinian financial system. Arditi said that the objective was to damage the Hamas government in Gaza financially without creating a humanitarian crisis, and to buy time for Fatah to rebuild support. In Arditis view, the current closure of Gaza border crossings is not sustainable, with several thousand Palestinians currently waiting to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing. Arditi said that sooner or later the GOI would have to deal with Hamas. At the same time, said Arditi, Israel and the Fayyad government are in agreement that they cannot allow free movement into and out of Gaza without a mechanism for controlling the flow of money and goods to terrorists and the Hamas government. (NOTE: Arditi added that Israel and Fayyad are both willing to open the Kerem Shalom crossing through Israeli territory. Hamas has repeatedly rejected such a solution, preferring to hold out for reopening Rafah for people and Karni for goods. END NOTE.)

    3. (S) Arditis proposal called for the creation of an external oversight system, with assistance from the United States and/or the European Union. The proposed system would include the creation of a strong Palestinian FIU based in the West Bank, and “the adoption of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) rules by the Palestinian banking system.” Without such oversight, Arditi expressed concern that Israeli banks would cut off their correspondent relationship with the Palestinians (reftel). Arditi said that Mossad Director Meir Dagan also advocates a new Palestinian “social security system” as an alternative to the Hamas Daawa system of charitable institutions, but Arditi remained skeptical on this point. Arditi asked Townsend who would be the right partner in the USG for the FIU plan, and inquired as to whether it would be well-received in Washington. Townsend recommended Under Secretary for the Treasury Stuart Levey as a natural counterpart, and suggested that the Israelis approach Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams on the question of support.

    4. (S) Arditis presentation represented an attempt by the Government of Israel (GOI) to find a way forward in dealing with Hamas-controlled Gaza, but NSC officials admitted that the GOI does not yet have a coherent policy. The Gaza/West Bank split appears simple on the surface, said an aide to Arditi, but carries many inherent contradictions. “This is not the first time we have tried to help Fatah,” he noted. NSC officials told Townsend that the Israeli Cabinet remains concerned about Hamas influence in the West Bank, and many are skeptical about the ability of Abbas and Fayyad to “turn back the wheel.”

    —————————-

    NSC Head Sees “Axis of Fear”

    —————————-

    TEL AVIV 00002281 002 OF 002

    5. (S) Chairman Ilan Mizrahi stressed that process, not events, affects the spread of terror in the Middle East. He pointed to three major factors in the region that create the conditions for terrorism: the weakness of Arab and Muslim communities and states that fail to join the advances of the modern world; the erosion of the secular state and the rise of ethnic politics, particularly in Iraq, the Palestinian territories, and Lebanon; and the rise of political Islam. Mizrahi also noted that the clash between Sunni and Shia Islam tends to bring out the extremists on both sides. He pointed out that both sides support terror groups that further their interests, including the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that some characterize them as “moderate Arab states” or “good guys.” Mizrahi said that many Arab states would be better characterized as an “axis of fear,” because they share a fear of Iranian influence.

    6. (S) There are few forces restraining radical Islam, said Mizrahi, particularly now that the United States and Israel are viewed as weakened powers. Supporters of radical Islam believe that their cause is ascendant, he continued, given what they perceive as successes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, North Africa, Iraq, and Lebanon — as well as growing militancy among Muslim communities in Europe and the Far East. Iran supports terrorism throughout the region, said Mizrahi, who asserted that Iran is currently sheltering two senior al-Qaeda operatives. Townsend agreed with Mizrahi that al-Qaeda-type groups were positioned for new strikes against the West, particularly originating in North Africa where al-Qaeda has gained from mergers with local organizations. Townsend said that terrorists were particularly determined to hit major oil facilities, and could potentially pursue a combination of big and small attacks over a period of time sweeping from Europe to the Middle East.

    ————————

    Linking Crime and Terror

    ————————

    7. (S) NSC officials made a presentation on current GOI efforts to pursue links between terrorism and criminal activity, including Hizballahs involvement in drug trafficking and money laundering. They thought criminal investigations could be used to disrupt Hizballahs operations, especially its financial resources. One NSC official working on the plan said that he was working with the New York District Attorney to prosecute criminal cases in that state. Mizrahi also contended that the professional level of criminality in North Africa, coupled with emigration to Europe, posed a real threat when combined with terror elements. Townsend added that given the visa waiver program with many European countries, this posed an additional threat to the United States. NSC officials queried Townsend on U.S. commitment to combating Hizballah, and received assurances that the organization remains a “tier 1 priority.”

    —————————————-

    COMMENT: GOI LOOKS TO U.S. FOR DIRECTION

    —————————————-

    8. (S) It is not clear to what extent the NSC proposal for a Palestinian FIU and international oversight is official GOI policy. Israeli officials themselves admit that a clear policy has yet to crystallize fully, especially with regard to Palestinian institutions in Gaza. There appear to be several camps within the GOI on the issue of financial links with Gaza, with some advocating for a complete banking quarantine. This current proposal originated in the Israel Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority of the Ministry of Justice (reftel), and represents a more measured approach. Arditi and others are looking for a balance between humanitarian concern for the Palestinian population and effective tracking of possible terrorist activity. Arditi and the NSC are likely seeking U.S. support to strengthen their position in internal GOI discussions.

    ********************************************* ********************

    Visit Embassy Tel Avivs Classified Website:

    You can also access this site through the State Departments Classified SIPRNET website.

    ********************************************* ********************

    CRETZ

  • WikiLeaks: Israel aimed to keep Gaza economy on brink of collapse

    These cables are examined by Aftenposten, which is now publishing them.

    Aftenposten declares Wikileaks renegade status:

    The editor of Oslo-based newspaper Aftenposten was fending off reaction Tuesday to a commentary she wrote on her paper’s access to all of the more than 250,000 diplomatic cables initially leaked to the non-profit organization WikiLeaks. She had called it a “paradox” that WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange reportedly is angry that Aftenposten now can report freely from the leaked cables.

    Aftenposten’s editor-in-chief, Hilde Haugsgjerd, elaborated on her media company’s access to the WikiLeaks documents. PHOTO: http://www.aftenposten.no

    “Paradoxically enough, the chief of one of our times’ biggest leaks is angry because there was a leak from his own leak,” editor-in-chief Hilde Haugsgjerd wrote in her commentary in Monday’s edition of Aftenposten. She wrote that Aftenposten’s own access to the cables, with no strings attached, “destroyed Assange’s own strategy for when and how documents about international conficts and themes should be made public.”

    WikiLeaks, Haugsgjerd claimed, had a media plan to “secure themselves the best possible coverage and contribute to the most international debate possible around the leak’s content.” Aftenposten, she noted is not adhering to WikiLeaks’ plan, which she referred to as a “news monopoly” that involved a consortium of international media outlets.

    There are three cables related to Israel’s deliberate collective punishment of Gaza, which I will post next.

  • Another Aftenposten supposed Wikileaks cable:

    Wikileaks: Israel has 100 bunkerknusere

    American and Israeli leaders was the fall of 2009 agreed that we should avoid referring to the delivery of bombs to destroy Iranian nuclear installations.

    In November 2009, set a high-level group of Americans and Israelis together in Tel Aviv. On the agenda was the political and military situation in the Middle East. Concern about Iran’s nuclear program dominated both the American and Israeli delegation, it appears from a document that Aftenposten have accessed via Wikileaks.

    The document states that the Israeli government was looking at 2010 as a critical year, provided that the Iranians continued to increase the protection around the nuclear installations. -Both sides then discussed the upcoming delivery of GBU-28 “bunker-bombs shatter” to Israel. Mon noted that deliveries should take place in silence so that we could avoid allegations that the U.S. government to help Israel to prepare for an attack on Iran, “the document.

    GBU-28 er en kraftig bombe som ble utviklet før Irak-krigen i 1991. GBU-28 is a powerful bomb that was developed before the Iraq war in 1991. The Americans wanted then to have a bomb that could penetrate the Iraqi command centers that were under the earth and / or behind reinforced concrete. The bomb is 5,000 pounds, that is approximately 2260 kg and is laser guided. From the discussion in the leaked document from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, it seems that the Israelis have obtained the bombs, by all accounts, 100 pieces, to break the Iranian nuclear program, the day they were to become necessary.

    Apart from this ascertainment in one of the leaked Wikileaks documents, it is between Americans and Israelis surprisingly small acute anxiety for the Iranian nuclear program. Israelerne tar opp saken gang på gang, og gjør det klart at en iransk atombombe vil være katastrofal for fredsbestrebelsene i Midtøsten. The Israelis take the matter up again and again and makes it clear that an Iranian nuclear bomb would be disastrous for peace efforts in the Middle East. In autumn 2009, it is nevertheless clear that both Israelis that Americans believe that they still have time before an Iranian nuclear bomb is a fact. The Israelis therefore want Americans to continue their efforts to deter the Iranians through sanctions. To get Russia and China on board, is imperative.

    Sweden

    In a memo from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv from September 2009 says a top official in the Israeli Foreign Ministry that the EU and the U.S. together can implement hard-hitting sanctions against Iran even without Russia and China. The Israeli government also expects that, within the EU in this case will face protests from the usual “acquaintances of the police” (Usual Suspects), namely, Austria, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Sweden. In another memo from December 2009 the Israeli government expresses delight that the Swedish EU presidency draws to a close.

  • Aftenposten runs an article on Israel’s plans for war without the actual cable linked. This is extremely irritating – Wikileaks isn’t posting the relevant cables either. The process is FUBARed.

    Israel is preparing for another major war
    The Israeli military says the country will only have 10 to 12 minutes warning of an Iranian missile attack. A major war in the Middle East will be a fact, according to the Wikileaks documents.

    November 2009 had a U.S. Congress delegation headed by Democrat Ike Skelton a meeting with the head of the Israeli general staff, Gabi Ashkenazi. During the meeting, declared the Israeli top general said Iran has 300 Shihab missiles that can reach Israel.

    Alert time by an Iranian attack will be no more than 10-12 minutes.

    – Rocket threat against Israel is more serious than ever. Therefore, Israel as a strong emphasis on missile defense, “said Ashkenazi, according to a confidential memo from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to the U.S. State Department.

    Document of the talks between the Ashkenazi and Skelton, as well as numerous other documents from the same period of time that Aftenposten has gained access to, leave a clear message: The Israeli military is in full swing to prepare for a new war in the Middle East. Faced with U.S. representatives beats top leaders in Israel’s defense and intelligence that even though the threat from Iran is serious, the threat from the Iranian backed Islamist groups Hamas and Hezbollah, respectively, in the Gaza Strip and in Lebanon, the most acute. The rockets from the two Islamist groups have far greater accuracy than the Iranian ballistic missiles will have, it appears.

    War Sense

    We therefore believe Ashkenazi that the next war in the Middle East will take place in the same areas where they previous wars took place, namely in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

    – I’m preparing the Israeli army in a major war since it is easier to scale down to a smaller operation than to do the opposite, “he told his American interlocutors.

    As for Hezbollah in Lebanon, the group advises over 40,000 rockets, many of which will be able to reach most places on Israeli territory, they say. – Currently there is calm in Gaza, but Israel is also on a collision course with Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Hamas will have the opportunity to bombard Tel Aviv, Israel’s main population concentration, turn the Israeli general fixed.

    Tross fremgangen i antirakettforsvar har ikke Israel mulighet til å skjerme hele befolkningen. Despite the progress in anti-missile defense is not Israel the opportunity to screen the entire population.

    One million Israelis will be exposed to missiles that can not be fought from the air. To counter the threat it sends out the Israeli army ever unmanned planes, called drones over Lebanon to identify potential targets, “said Ashkenazi.

    So far, the drones have been a success.

    The Israeli army also has a very good cooperation with the NSA, the American intelligence organization that monitors other countries’ communications, he adds.

    In the next war Israel can not accept any restrictions on warfare in urban areas, continue Ashkenazi. During the war in Gaza around New Year 2008-2009 did the Israeli army mistakes, but never attack civilians deliberately, he claims.

    Gaza War

    In another note, arising from a series of talks between Israeli military and a U.S. Congress delegation led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on 2 og 3. and 3 september 2009, September 2009, said representatives of the Israeli intelligence that in Gaza the war had shown great restraint:

    – During Operation Molded Lead (the Israeli code word for war in Gaza) operated the IDF with limited power and without something to occupy territory in Gaza. It was decided also not to go into the main urban areas. The result was that an operation that could have lasted three days, took three weeks, said the Israeli General Yoav Galant.

    An officer from the Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet gave Senator Gillibrand a detailed picture of developments in the Gaza Strip:

    Surgical Molded Lead was a success, but the Islamist organization Hamas after only six months managed to get as much weapons as they had before the Israeli operation. Hamas-actively working to develop new military capabilities, including acquiring Iranian missiles that can reach Tel Aviv. Mon is also developing its own weapons production so that Hamas will be less dependent on smuggling, said the officer.

    – As a result, the next conflict with Hamas will be more difficult than the previous one, ie the Gaza War in 2008-09, he added.

    A special developments of the situation in Gaza is the rise of extreme Islamist groups like Hamas do not control, had Gillibrand know. That these groups have been able to plan extensive terrorist, has surprised both Hamas and the Shin Beth. For my own part Shin Beth knows little about these groups because they have concentrated on infiltrating Hamas.

    The tunnels

    Egypt has invested some effort to destroy tunnels that is the main gateway of illegal goods into Gaza. The Israeli military has developed a wide range of possible measures to destroy the tunnels, according to a memo from the U.S. Embassy on 18 november 2009. November 2009. The measures proposed are:

    * Continuous mine explosions near the border to a depth of 20-30 meters.
    * Use of shock or smoke grenades laying of underground entrances.
    * Construction of underground obstructions down to 90 meters deep to destabilize the existing tunnels.
    * Arrest of a number of known, named smugglers.

    Prolonged

    Also, this paper contains a detailed review of Hezbollah’s military capabilities. Here is its stock of missiles projected quite a bit lower than in the other note: 20,000 rockets, including hundreds of Iranian Fajr missiles with a range of about 45 kilometers, hundreds of wire guided anti-tank missiles, an unknown number of Iranian-made unmanned aircraft of the Ababil with a range of 150 kilometers, etc.

    Given the size of this stockpile assume that the Israeli intelligence Hezbollah is aiming for a protracted conflict with Israel in which you want to send a “massive number” rockets at Israel every day.

    To disrupt daily life in Tel Aviv will be an important target for Islamist organization.

    An officer from the foreign intelligence service Mossad said that Hezbollah will aim to send between 400 and 600 rockets at Israel every day during the next war, of which 100 shall be paid to Tel Aviv. The organization aims to do this at least two months before and want a new war breaks out, make sure you do not run out of rockets.

  • WikiLeaks cable: UN Goldstone resolution: NZ is watching Europe:

    February 25, 2010
    UN Goldstone resolution: New Zealand is watching Europe

    date:2010-02-25T02:34:00
    source:Embassy Wellington
    origin:10WELLINGTON69
    destination:VZCZCXYZ0002 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHWL #0069 0560234 ZNY CCCCC
    ZZH O R 250234Z FEB 10 FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE
    WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0425 INFO RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0002
    RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0008 RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0003
    RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0001 RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
    classification:CONFIDENTIAL
    reference:10STATE15722
    ?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000069
    SIPDIS
    NOFORN
    SENSITIVE
    STATE FOR EAP/ANP AND EUR/HR COURTNEY MUSSER ()

    ?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000069
    SIPDIS
    NOFORN
    SENSITIVE
    STATE FOR EAP/ANP AND EUR/HR COURTNEY MUSSER ()
    E.O. 12958: DECL: (##)
    TAGS: PHUM, UNGA, PREL, PGOV, NZ
    SUBJECT: UN GOLDSTONE RESOLUTION: NEW ZEALAND IS WATCHING EUROPE
    REF: 10 STATE 15722

    CLASSIFIED BY: Adam Smith, Second Secretary, DoS, P/E; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

    1. (SBU) Poloff delivered reftel demarche to Michael McBryde, the Foreign Ministry’s UN Division Deputy Director, urging GNZ to vote no or abstain (as NZ did in November 2009) on the February 26 UN Goldstone Report draft resolution recently circulated by the Palestinian Observer Mission.

    2. (SBU) McBryde stated that Jim McLay, NZ’s UN Ambassador, follows Middle East issues very carefully and is well aware of sensitivities regarding the Goldstone Report. Last November McLay recommended abstention on the Goldstone Report draft resolution because he felt that the UN should “take note of” the report, not endorse it. NZ’s UN delegation considers the latest draft resolution to be more “moderate and constructive”, and it is waiting to see how European countries such as the UK, France, and Sweden will vote. NZ’s UN delegation will have the authority to finalize its position (and its vote) based upon how the February 26 debate unfolds.

    3. (SBU) NOTE: James Kember, the Foreign Ministry’s UN Division Director, will travel on March 11 to meet with NZ’s European and New York-based UN delegations. McBryde stated that Kember has only been in his current position since September 2009, and this will be his first trip to meet with these two groups. McBryde referred to the trip as a “pastoral mission” and did not share any specific agenda items. END NOTE

    4. (C/NF) COMMENT: When pressed, McBryde admitted that, in particular, New Zealand is watching to see how the UK will vote on the Goldstone Report draft resolution. He said the UK has indicated that the new draft resolution is more “moderate and constructive”, and there is a chance that London will change its vote from abstain to yes. Post believes that a shift in the UK position could have a significant impact on New Zealand’s vote. McBryde further confided that this is a “particularly sensitive issue because Ambassador McLay is scheduled to travel to several Middle Eastern countries next week (including
    Israel).” END COMMENT

    CLARKE

  • HaikuLeaks / Cable is Poetry:

    He added that there
    should be ‘no blank checks, no checks
    at all,’ for Hamas.
    09DOHA502.txt

    ¶11. (C) ASD Vershbow raised Qatar’s ties with Hamas, and told
    the COS that Hamas needs to be encouraged to rejoin the
    Palestinian Authority and the Peace Process. He added that
    there should be “no blank checks, no checks at all,” for
    Hamas. ASD suggested that Qatar was in a position to
    influence Hamas; if Qatar helped bring about a change in
    Hamas’s behavior, it could enhance the U.S.-Qatar strategic
    relationship. COS undertook to relay that message to the
    Amir and Crown Prince. While the COS underscored that Qatar
    wants a good relationship with the U.S., he noted there were
    times when USG decisions sent a different signal, such as the
    USG’s decision on LAIRCM. COS al-Attiyah rhetorically asked,
    “Are we friends or not?”

    On Iran:

    ¶8. (C) ASD Vershbow reiterated the need for Iran to take
    steps to convince the international community that it was not
    pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, and to end its support
    for Hamas, Hizballah, and other extremist groups. He said
    we understand why Qatar, because of its close proximity and
    its economic and political ties to Iran, felt the need to
    engage with Iran. Qatar should help the Iranians to avoid a
    conflict with the U.S. and the international community,
    remarking that “friends do not let friends drive drunk.”

    ¶9. (C) COS al-Attiyah responded that while Iran expresses a
    desire privately to change its behavior, these could be
    meaningless platitudes. The COS reiterated that the GOQ
    opposes any Iranian pursuit of a military nuclear capability,
    noting that it would destabilize the region. COS further
    suggested that the USG continue its own dialogue with the
    Islamic Republic. COS al-Attiyah closed the discussion by
    making clear that, with respect to Iran, “while we’re
    neighbors, we’re not friends.” He summed up his recent visit
    to Tehran as an overture to maintain open channels of
    communication with Iran.

  • Mossad Mastercard numbers from their Dubai hit.

    10ABUDHABI103 2010-02-24 10:10 Embassy Abu Dhabi

    VZCZCXYZ0007
    OO RUEHWEB

    DE RUEHAD #0103 0551051
    ZNY SSSSS ZZH
    O 241051Z FEB 10
    FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
    TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0361
    INFO RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI IMMEDIATE
    RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI

    S E C R E T ABU DHABI 000103

    NOFORN
    SIPDIS
    FOR NEA/ARP

    E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/24
    TAGS: PREL PINS CJAN AE
    SUBJECT: UAE REQUEST FOR USG ASSISTANCE IN INVESTIGATION OF KILLING
    OF MAHMOUD AL-MABHOUH

    CLASSIFIED BY: Doug Greene, DCM; REASON: 1.4(D)

    ¶1. (C/NF) On the margins of a meeting with visiting
    Secretary Chu, on Feb 24 MFA Minister of State Gargash made a
    formal request to the Ambassador for assistance in providing
    cardholder details and related information for credit cards
    reportedly issued by a U.S. bank to several suspects in last
    month’s killing of Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai.
    According to a letter Gargash gave the Ambassador (which
    transmitted details of the request from Dubai Security authorities
    to the UAE Central Bank), the credit cards were issued by
    MetaBank, in Iowa. Embassy LEGATT is transmitting the request and
    associated details to FBI HQ. Gargash asked that Embassy pass any
    reply to the director of the General Directorate of State Security
    (GDSS) in Dubai.

    ¶2. (S/NF) Comment: Ambassador requests expeditious handling
    of and reply to the UAEG request, which was also raised by UAE
    Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed in a February 23 meeting with
    Secretary Clinton in Washington.

    ¶3. (C/NF) Text of letter from GDSS to the Governor of the UAE
    Central Bank:

    Excellency Sultan Al-Suwiadi

    UAE Central Bank Governor

    Subject: Credit Cards

    MC 5115-2600-1600-6190

    MC 5115-2600-1600-5317

    MC 5301-3800-3201-7106

    General Management of The State Security offers greetings, and asks
    your Excellency to direct the money laundry and suspicious
    transactions unit at the Central Bank to urgently obtain details of
    the above credit cards, in addition to details for purchases,
    accounts, and payments on those cards, as the users of those cards
    were involved in the murder of Mahmoud Mabhouh. Those cards were
    issued by META BANK in the state of Iowa, USA.

    Thank you for your kind cooperation.

    END TEXT

    (Letter is accompanied by a chart with identifying data for alleged
    credit card users – scanned and emailed to NEA/ARP.)
    OLSON

  • ‘Norwegians in UNIFIL causing negative view of J’lem’:

    Norway’s aspirations to be a “moral superpower” and play a key role in the Middle East peace process could be constrained by its tense relationship with Israel, anti-Semitism at home and its approach to Hamas, according to a WikiLeaks cable published by the Oslo-based Aftenposten paper.

    The cable, written on February 13, 2009, by Kevin Johnson, the deputy chief of the US Embassy in Norway, summarizes Oslo’s aspirations to be a leader in the Middle East peace negotiations.

    RELATED:
    ‘Hariri tribunal ends investigation, makes decision’
    WikiLeaks: Israel bombed Syrian nuclear facility

    The cable could serve as an important source document for those seeking to understand the difficulty Israel has in getting its narrative across in Europe.

    According to the analysis in this cable, the Oslo process seemed to herald a new peacemaker role for Norway, which it relished. But as the Oslo Accords crumbled, “ties between Norway and Israel weakened,” the cable read.

    “The Lebanon wars had a major impact, with approximately 20,000 Norwegians serving in UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon from 1978 to 1998. These soldiers came home with sympathetic reports about Palestinian refugees and negative impressions of Israelis. Israeli settlements and walls in the West Bank, and invasions of Lebanon and Gaza contributed to Norwegians’ increasingly negative view of Israel,” the US diplomat wrote.

    “Norwegian society values dialogue above all,” the cable read. “Talk, even without any expectation of results, is seen as valuable. Anyone who draws a line and refuses to talk to an opposing party is seen as a radical unilateralist. Conversely, Norwegians are extremely opposed to the use of military force to achieve goals, no matter how laudable.”

    Compounding this aversion to force, according to the cable, is the fact that “Norwegians do not generally see any threats” and do not see a danger from terrorism.

    To illustrate this particular “societal attitude,” the cable points out that a man who shot up Oslo’s synagogue in 2006, planned to behead the Israeli ambassador and attack Israeli and US embassies was “convicted only of grave vandalism.”

    The cable said, however, that his “strict sentence showed some understanding of the severity of the charges.”

    The man convicted of the shooting, Arfan Qadeer Bhatti, was given an eight-year sentence in 2008.

    Norway, according to the cable, has engaged with Hamas, and the organization’s vow to destroy Israel “was ignored or characterized as only rhetoric by the Norwegians.”

    Although the GON [Government of Norway] would deny it, there are clear signs that contacts with Hamas go beyond a tactical desire for dialogue to a level of sympathy for Hamas positions. The FM once told DCM [deputy chief of mission] for example that one could not expect Hamas to recognize Israel without knowing which borders Israel will have. While the FM expresses some sympathy for Hamas’ positions only in unguarded moments, other prominent Norwegians go further.”

    The cable also gives backing to those who argue that Israel’s difficult position in much of Europe is fueled by the large Muslim minorities there.

    “Norway’s growing minority population also plays a role in hardening public attitude toward Israel,” the cable read. “The primary minority groups in Norway (25% of Oslo’s population) are Moslem and stem from Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan. They are interested in Middle East politics and not surprisingly very critical of Israel.”

    Johnson wrote in the cable that with “traditional Norwegians” already independently quite critical of Israel, “it is likely that this viewpoint will be re-enforced by the growing minority groups in Norway.”

    Aftenposten has reportedly gained access to the cache of more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks started releasing late last month and that were given to a limited number of newspapers, including The Guardian in Britain, Le Monde in France, El Pais in Spain and Der Spiegel in Germany.

  • Wikileaks: State Department Lied, Denying Dubai Asked for Assistance in Tracking Mossad Assassins

    Yesterday, I reported that incoming Mossad director Tamir Pardo was prepared to concede Israeli responsibility for the Dubai hit. To any who might view this as an Israeli official seeking to take responsibility for Israeli misdeeds or some such…Wikileaks is rumored to be about to publish cables in which the lid is blown on Mossad involvement. So it’s no skin off Pardo’s back if he admits to a crime which was about to be exposed anyway by others.

  • WikiLeaks: Does Israel have a deal with US to keep settlements?

    According to some of the most recently published US diplomatic cables by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, Israel might have a secret understanding with the US to maintain growth in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (so-called Jewish “settlements”).

    One of the documents has Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak telling French officials in Paris in 2009 that Israel has a “secret accord” with the US government that allows “natural growth” in the settlements to continue.

    The French officials cited were apparently miffed by the Israeli position and the possibility of an Israeli-US understanding on the issue.

    In another document that was part of the same release, French President Nicolas Sarkozy stressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when the two men met in Paris in 2009 that Israel has run out of time and must meet Arab demands.

    “You think you’re stronger than the Palestinians, but you’re not,” Sarkozy was quoted as saying. “There is a single door and it is imperative to move through it now.”

    In a separate but related series of cables, US diplomats at the embassy in Tel Aviv cautioned that Israel’s peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan are “fraying.”

    The cables noted what many in Israel have long known – that Israel is officially at peace with the governments of Egypt and Jordan, but the majority of the populations in both countries continue to view Israel as an enemy. Were either Jordan or Egypt to experience a coup, they would likely resume hostilities against the Jewish state.

    09PARIS827 2009-06-22 13:01

    ¶1. (S/NF) MFA Middle East Director (Assistant
    Secretary-equivalent) Patrice Paoli informed POL Minister
    Counselor June 18 that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak
    told French officials in Paris June 15 that the Israelis have
    a “secret accord” with the USG to continue the “natural
    growth” of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Paoli noted
    that the French anticipate strong Israeli resistance to USG
    pressure on this issue. He asked whether the USG has
    considered how to adapt to possible Israeli responses: “How
    will you react to Israeli reactions to your pressure?” He
    claimed that “the credibility of President Obama will be
    judged on the issue of settlements.” MFA DAS Ludovic
    Pouille, who also attended the meeting, underlined this
    point: “Arabs are saying progress on settlements is crucial.
    Saudi Arabia and Egypt seem obsessed with the settlements
    issue; they won’t even enter the game without progress on
    settlements.” Paoli added that “negotiations can wait until
    the fall, but steps forward cannot wait until then.” Both
    diplomats emphasized the need to build confidence measures on
    the ground now.

    ¶2. (S/NF) In stressing the energy with which the GOF plans
    to approach the peace process, Paoli said that France will
    not wait until all 27 EU members are in agreement before
    pressing ahead with their support of USG efforts. Pouille
    said the French can play an important role on “two key
    issues”: working toward a settlements freeze and monitoring
    the implementation of an eventual agreement. By leaning on
    other countries in the European Union and within the Quartet
    to bring their resources to bear (“their diplomatic presence,
    their networks”), Paoli said that France hopes to contribute
    to pressing the parties forward as quickly as possible.
    Pouille stressed monitoring in particular, which he described
    as “a big hole at the Annapolis conference.” He argued that
    “the US cannot be the only judge” of progress.

    ¶3. (S/NF) Paoli explained that President Sarkozy will have
    three messages to convey to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
    when they meet in Paris on June 24:

    — “You think you’ve got time, but you don’t.”
    — “You think you have an alternative solution, but you
    don’t.”
    — “You think you’re stronger than the Palestinians, but
    you’re not.”

    Paoli said that Sarkozy will stress that “there is a single
    door and it is imperative to move through it now.” Paoli and
    Pouille both expressed disappointment with the reservations
    contained in Netanyahu’s June 14 speech, but noted that it
    nonetheless reflected significant movement in the Likud
    position regarding a Palestinian state. “It’s not easy to
    reverse a campaign promise two months after the campaign,”
    Paoli observed. They also said that President Obama’s
    address in Cairo was extremely well received in France and in
    the Arab world. “It was a speech, though, and it was a
    received as a speech,” Pouille said. “The reaction in the
    Arab world was: ‘Now do it.'”

    The smoking cable: Israel said it had ’secret accord’ with U.S. over expanding settlements even as Obama said in Cairo they must stop!

  • […] by Netanyahu to the contrary, Wikileaks cables have shown Israel consistently conflates peace with Palestinians with its existential fear of Iran as number one threat, emphasising an interminable, nebulous and largely self-created security […]

  • 07TELAVIV1732 2007-06-13 16:04

    ¶4. (S) Diskin noted that he had heard earlier on June 11 from
    Palestinian sources that Hamas had succeeded in stealing some
    “Doshka” heavy machine guns from the Presidential Guard. He
    said that this is an example of why he does not support “at
    this time” USSC LTG Dayton’s proposal to supply ammunition
    and weapons to Fatah: “I support the idea of militarily
    strengthening Fatah, but I am afraid that they are not
    organized to ensure that the equipment that is transferred to
    them will reach the intended recipients.” Diskin claimed
    that most of the Fatah-aligned security forces have been
    penetrated by Hamas. He reiterated that he does not want to
    see any equipment transferred to them before he is convinced
    that the equipment will arrive at its intended destination.

    ¶5. (S) Diskin raised as another matter the question of
    whether Fatah will be able to hold on to any equipment
    provided to it. He expressed concern about Fatah’s
    organizational capabilities, and what he characterized as a

    TEL AVIV 00001732 002 OF 003

    glaring lack of leadership: “Dahlan is trying to manage
    Fatah’s security forces by remote control. We are not even
    sure where he is.” (NOTE: Diskin’s aide said he believed
    Dahlan is in Cairo. But on June 13, Diskin told the
    Ambassador that Dahlan had surfaced in Amman the day before.
    END NOTE.) Diskin continued: “Fatah is in very bad shape in
    the Gaza Strip. We have received requests to train their
    forces in Egypt and Yemen. We would like them to get the
    training they need, and to be more powerful, but they do not
    have anyone to lead them.” Diskin also made clear his
    reservations on training Palestinians in a country like Yemen
    with a strong Al-Qaida presence.

    ….

    ¶7. (S) In the West Bank, Diskin said that ISA has established
    a very good working relationship with the Preventive Security
    Organization (PSO) and the General Intelligence Organization
    (GIO). Diskin said that the PSO shares with ISA almost all
    the intelligence that it collects. They understand that
    Israel’s security is central to their survival in the
    struggle with Hamas in the West Bank.

    ¶8. (S) While he described this overall relationship with the
    Palestinian security services in the West Bank as healthy,
    Diskin noted that Fatah did not react to the last set of
    Hamas attacks in the West Bank due to the current “mood” of
    GIO leader Tawfik Tirawi. Diskin explained that Tirawi (whom
    he described as psychopathic, cruel, dangerous and prone to
    extreme mood swings) is disaffected and feels that his status
    has declined, and that he is no longer respected by Abbas.
    Diskin claimed that Tirawi also feels that his relationship
    with Dahlan has deteriorated. Diskin said that he hopes to
    meet with Tirawi the week of June 17 to dissuade him from
    “doing stupid things, as he is trying to develop ties with
    the Dughmush family in the Gaza Strip.”

    ¶9. (S) Diskin said that Abbas views Fatah as weak and “on its
    last legs,” and incapable of being rehabilitated within six
    months. Stressing that it was his own opinion (and not
    necessarily shared by the GOI), Diskin said that Abbas is
    starting to become a problem for Israel: “He’s a paradox.
    He cannot function and do anything. Why is Fatah failing?
    Because Abbas has become the ‘good guy’ whom everyone is
    trying to do everything for in order to keep him alive.
    Everyone is afraid of the alternative, and yet Abbas is
    already talking about how he plans to retire from the
    political scene after his term ends in 2008. He knows he is
    weak and that he has failed. He has failed to rehabilitate
    Fatah. He did not start to take any action when he had the
    chance in 2004. Instead of choosing to be the leader for
    Fatah, he chose to be a national leader for all
    Palestinians.” Diskin lamented that the current situation
    suggests that nobody can now assume leadership of Fatah.
    Dahlan, he said, can only lead in the Gaza Strip — if that
    — and Marwan Barghouti can lead in the West Bank, but not
    the Gaza Strip. “It is something in their blood,” he said,
    “the leaders of the West Bank cannot rule the Palestinians in
    the Gaza Strip and vice versa.” Diskin warned that
    Palestinian society is disintegrating, and that this bodes
    ill for Israel. He said that he has some ideas about how to
    address this that he wishes to discuss with PM Olmert, and
    would share with the Ambassador afterwards: “We have to give
    Fatah the conditions to succeed, but we cannot do this
    through your benchmarks (reftel).”

    ¶10. (S) Responding to a question from the Ambassador, Diskin
    said that cooperation between Egyptian and Palestinian
    security forces recently led to the discovery of some tunnels
    in the Gaza Strip. He said the ISA occasionally hears that
    tunnels are found in the Gaza Strip, and while he is inclined
    to believe the information, he admitted that ISA cannot
    always verify it. Diskin said that ISA’s cooperation with
    Egyptian security services has improved over the last two
    months after their respective delegations had met. That
    said, he claimed that fundamental challenges remain
    unresolved: “They react on the intelligence that we provide
    to them, but they are not proactive.” He lamented that there
    has been no dramatic change in the tunnel situation, adding
    that there are still many tunnels running under the
    Philadelphi corridor.

    EA WorldView notes:

    Diskin talked about the destructive yet balancing nature of the conflict between the Palestinian parties Fatah and Hamas, outlined Fatah’s disadvantages in that contest, and complained about Cairo.

    And Diskin praised the Palestinian Authority’s “full cooperation” with West Jerusalem, claiming that Fatah had demanded an Israeli attack upon Hamas.

    While Diskin saw Hamas as the clear winner of the recent political battle and violent conflicts in the Gaza Strip, he still thought Fatah could significantly damage its rival. But Diskin also saw problems. There was an internal fight within Fatah, led by its national Security advisor Muhammed Dahlan. Most of the Fatah-aligned security forces had been penetrated by Hamas. And Egypt had not been helpful: “They react on the intelligence that we provide to them, but they are not proactive,” Diskin complained.

    But Diskin continued, there was potential in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas:

    The Preventive Security Organisation shares with [Israel[ almost all the intelligence that it collects. They understand that Israel’s security is central to their survival in the struggle with Hamas in the West Bank.

    Diskin claimed that a “desperate” Fatah Party had turned to Israel:

    They are approaching a zero-sum situation, and yet they ask us to attack Hamas. This is a new development. We have never seen this before. They are desperate.

    Yesterday, Fatah dismissed the WikiLeaks document and its claim as a Shin Bet “conspiracy”:

    None of our members made such a request to the Israeli occupation forces because it contradicts our national values and principles. All of our positions are made public and we have no secrets. These are fabrications and lies that are part of a Shin Bet conspiracy.

  • 07TELAVIV1733 2007-06-13 16:04

    Yadlin said Israel would be “happy” if Hamas took over Gaza
    because the IDF could then deal with Gaza as a hostile state.
    He dismissed the significance of an Iranian role in a
    Hamas-controlled Gaza “as long as they don’t have a port.”

    Yadlin described Gaza as “not Israel’s main problem,” noting
    that it ranked fourth in his hierarchy of threats, behind
    Iran, Syria, and Hizballah. Yadlin described Gaza as
    “hopeless for now,” commenting that the Palestinians had to
    realize that Hamas offered no solution.

    ¶6. (S) The Ambassador commented that if Fatah decided it has
    lost Gaza, there would be calls for Abbas to set up a
    separate regime in the West Bank. While not necessarily
    reflecting a consensus GOI view, Yadlin commented that such a
    development would please Israel since it would enable the IDF
    to treat Gaza as a hostile country rather than having to deal
    with Hamas as a non-state actor. He added that Israel could
    work with a Fatah regime in the West Bank. The Ambassador
    asked Yadlin if he worried about a Hamas-controlled Gaza
    giving Iran a new opening. Yadlin replied that Iran was
    already present in Gaza, but Israel could handle the
    situation “as long as Gaza does not have a port (sea or air).”

    08TELAVIV2745 2008-12-08 15:03

    Yadlin said the Palestinians have established two entities. Abbas
    and Fayyad rule the West Bank with Israel’s support, while
    Hamas has established a terrorist entity in Gaza. Yadlin
    stressed that Israel is on the right track in the West Bank,
    while he advocates taking a “much tougher” approach to Gaza.
    Yadlin said Israel can find Hamas officials where they live
    and work in Gaza. If the firing of rockets and mortars from
    Gaza continues, the IDF will “use this card,” i.e. resume
    targetted assassinations, in order to “change the paradigm.”
    End Summary.

    Yadlin replied that the Palestinians are only
    Israel’s number four threat in the IDI’s assessment,
    following Iran, Syria, and Hizballah. Although the
    Palestinians are not the IDI’s top concern, Yadlin said he
    would answer the question by noting that it will take time to
    marry Netanyahu’s approach to Fayyad’s.

    In Gaza, a terrorist organization is in power
    and Hamas preaches that Palestinian aspirations can be
    achieved through terrorism. This division provides Israel
    with a “historic opportunity” to prove that Hamas’ approach
    will fail.

    ¶6. (S) Congressman Wexler asked why Fayyad wants to send
    money to Gaza. Yadlin said Fayyad fears that if he does not,
    Hamas will bring in money from Iran, but Yadlin added that
    this concern was misplaced. Hamas’ control of Gaza provides
    an opportunity. Since the terrorists are now the government,
    Israel knows which terrorist is sitting in what office and
    where their homes are. They have come out of hiding and into

    TEL AVIV 00002745 002 OF 002

    the open, so the IDF can identify and find them. Yadlin
    warned that if the shelling of Israeli communities from Gaza
    continues, Israel can “use this card” against Hamas. It will
    “change the paradigm,” he concluded.

    ¶7. (S) Comment. While Yadlin did not use the phrase
    “targeted assassinations,” it was clear from the context that
    he is advocating this approach to countering the threat from
    Hamas. It was also clear that he strongly opposes those in
    the GOI who advocate maintaining a base of currency flow into
    Gaza. End comment.

    08TELAVIV1005 2008-05-06 17:05

    Israelis are watching carefully to
    see how the U.S. manages the next few years of our
    involvement in Iraq and whether we can succeed in stabilizing
    Iraq in a way that avoids its becoming either an Iranian
    client state or a source of instability that overwhelms
    Jordan’s fragile balance.

    Prime Minister Olmert and
    Foreign Minister Livni, both of whom grew up and began their
    political careers as strong advocates of Israel’s historic
    right to all of Jerusalem and the West Bank, are among the
    leading examples of Israelis who have become convinced that
    only a two-state solution and painful territorial compromise

    TEL AVIV 00001005 002 OF 003

    will enable Israel to preserve its identity as a democratic,
    Jewish state. The growing assertiveness of Israel’s large
    Arab minority, now about twenty percent of the total
    population, is both a further source of concern and an
    additional impetus to create a Palestinian state.

    ¶6. (S) Another outstanding issue is how and when to confront
    the settler movement and get serious about outposts and
    settlements. Inertia is on the side of the settlers. Even
    if they no longer have the sympathy of the Israeli public,
    they have powerful allies in the bureaucracy, wealthy backers
    in Israel and abroad who are willing to fund the settlement
    enterprise, and an IDF that will not challenge the settlers
    without clear instructions from the political echelon (and
    even then may drag its feet). Barak, Deputy PM Ramon, and
    others are engaged in discussions with the settler
    leadership, and after Secretary Rice’s latest visit the PM’s
    office leaked to the media that he has discussed with Abbas
    moving 60,000 settlers out of the West Bank.

  • 07TELAVIV2652 2007-08-31 12:12

    The Under Secretary noted that the Middle East
    is now at the heart of American interests.

    Instability in
    Iran is driven by inflation and tension among ethnic
    minorities. This, Dagan said, presents unique opportunities,
    and Israelis and Americans might see a change in Iran in

    TEL AVIV 00002652 002 OF 005

    their lifetimes. As for Iraq, it may end up a weak, federal
    state comprised of three cantons or entities, one each
    belonging to the Kurds, Sunnis and Shias.

    ¶5. (S) Dagan said that the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia are
    concerned about the growing importance of Iran and its
    influence on them. They are taking precautions, trying to
    increase their own military defensive capabilities.
    Referring to the Gulf Security Dialogue (GSD), Dagan warned
    that these countries would not be able to cope with the
    amount of weapons systems they intend to acquire: “They do
    not use the weapons effectively.”

    Further afield, it looks at Turkey and sees
    Islamists gaining momentum there. The question, he asked, is
    how long Turkey’s military — viewing itself as the defender
    of Turkey’s secular identity — will remain quiet.

    ¶8. (S) Turning to the Gulf Security Dialogue (GSD), Dagan
    said that enhancing the capabilities of the Gulf states “is
    the right direction to go,” especially as they are afraid of
    Iran. Such a U.S. commitment will be a stabilizing factor in
    the region. Dagan clarified that he would not oppose U.S.
    security assistance to America’s Arab partners. He expressed
    concern, nevertheless, about the current policies of those
    partners — especially with regards to Syria and Iran. Dagan
    added that if those countries must choose between buying
    defensive systems from the U.S. or France, then he would
    prefer they buy systems from the U.S., as this would bring
    them closer to the U.S.

    ¶11. (S) Dagan described how the Israeli strategy consists of
    five pillars:

    A) Political Approach: Dagan praised efforts to bring Iran
    before the UNSC, and signaled his agreement with the pursuit
    of a third sanctions resolution. He acknowledged that
    pressure on Iran is building up, but said this approach alone
    will not resolve the crisis. He stressed that the timetable
    for political action is different than the nuclear project’s
    timetable.

    B) Covert Measures: Dagan and the Under Secretary agreed not
    to discuss this approach in the larger group setting.

    C) Counterproliferation: Dagan underscored the need to
    prevent know-how and technology from making their way to
    Iran, and said that more can be done in this area.

    D) Sanctions: Dagan said that the biggest successes had so
    far been in this area. Three Iranian banks are on the verge
    of collapse. The financial sanctions are having a nationwide
    impact. Iran’s regime can no longer just deal with the
    bankers themselves.

    E) Force Regime Change: Dagan said that more should be done
    to foment regime change in Iran, possibly with the support of
    student democracy movements, and ethnic groups (e.g., Azeris,
    Kurds, Baluchs) opposed to the ruling regime.

    ¶12. (S) Dagan clarified that the U.S., Israel and like-minded
    countries must push on all five pillars at the same time.
    Some are bearing fruit now; others would bear fruit in due
    time, especially if more attention were placed on them.
    Dagan urged more attention on regime change, asserting that
    more could be done to develop the identities of ethnic
    minorities in Iran. He said he was sure that Israel and the
    U.S. could “change the ruling regime in Iran, and its
    attitude towards backing terror regimes.” He added, “We
    could also get them to delay their nuclear project. Iran
    could become a normal state.”

    ¶13. (S) Dagan stressed that Iran has weak spots that can be
    exploited. According to his information, unemployment
    exceeds 30 percent nationwide, with some towns and villages
    experiencing 50 percent unemployment, especially among 17-30
    year olds. Inflation averages more than 40 percent, and
    people are criticizing the government for investing in and
    sponsoring Hamas, saying that they government should invest
    in Iran itself. “The economy is hurting,” he said, “and this
    is provoking a real crisis among Iran’s leaders.” He added
    that Iran’s minorities are “raising their heads, and are
    tempted to resort to violence.”

    09TELAVIV936 2009-04-28 08:08

    Netanyahu said he wants to show the
    Palestinians the benefits of peace, but with the proviso that
    if Iran goes nuclear, peace will fail.

    Netanyahu said he plans to engage
    the Palestinian Authority quickly and will not tie political
    talks with the Palestinians to developments with Iran.

    The only
    limits on Palestinian sovereignty would be elements that
    affect Israel’s security. A Palestinian state must be
    demilitarized, without control over its air space and
    electro-magnetic field, and without the power to enter into
    treaties or control its borders. Netanyahu concluded that he
    and opposition leader Tzipi Livni “only disagree about the
    name,” i.e. the two-state solution.

    Economic development would not be a
    substitute for a political settlement, but it would change
    the environment and show Palestinians the benefits of peace.
    Israel has been trying to “build a roof without a foundation”
    and it has not worked. Netanyahu said there was one proviso:
    If Iran gets a nuke, peace efforts will fail.

    09TELAVIV1184 2009-06-02 13:01

    Netanyahu said he
    had told President Obama that while he would not condition
    negotiations with the Palestinians on halting Iran’s progress
    toward a nuclear weapon, if Iran obtained such a weapon it
    would destroy any progress made toward peace. He added that
    Egyptian President Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah were
    in complete agreement with him on that point.

    ¶3. (S) For the sake of both security and peace, the first
    task is to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

    Netanyahu said he was prepared for
    “arrangements” with the Palestinians that would entail some
    limits on their sovereignty such as no Palestinian army, and
    Israeli control over borders, airspace, and the
    electromagnetic spectrum. Netanyahu asserted that seventy to
    eighty percent of Israelis are ready to make concessions for
    peace but they do not believe they have a Palestinian partner
    since Hamas is in control of Gaza and Iran has a base on
    Israel’s border. How can there be peace without a new
    situation in Gaza, he asked.

    He commented that Iran might try
    to use the talks with the U.S. to continue or accelerate
    their enrichment process. Netanyahu cautioned that he was
    skeptical of the idea that the Iranian leadership could
    change. They have a dangerous worldview, a violent
    theocracy, but it may be possible to move them if they find
    the U.S. strong and determined. Iran, he commented, is bent
    on becoming a global and not just a regional power.

    09TELAVIV1688 2009-07-30 10:10

    ¶24. (C) MFA Export Control Director Roey Gilad reiterated
    that the GOI in no way desires to compromise U.S. national
    interests with respect to exports to China. He noted,
    however, that the U.S. Department of Commerce created in 2007
    a list of exemptions for certain items if sent to validated
    end users in China. Gilad questioned whether the same
    exemptions might be possible for Israel. As it currently
    stands, the GOI must pursue any export to China through the
    bilateral statement of understanding with the United States.
    While the statement calls for expeditious resolution of any
    requests to export to China, it often takes up to 80 days to
    obtain approval. By that time, Gilad said, China has often
    found the item through another supplier. Moreover, the
    Israeli export control system requires a 20-working day
    turn-around on all export license requests — which is not
    possible, given the length of time required to obtain an
    answer from the United States. A/S Shapiro offered to raise
    the issue in Washington.

  • 09TELAVIV2473 2009-11-12 15:03

    ¶3. (S) Despite this good news for the government, Israelis
    are even more anxious than normal these days. Sixty-one
    years after the establishment of the State of Israel,
    Israelis sense a growing tide in the world challenging not
    just the occupation of territory seized in 1967, but even
    against the existence of the Jewish state within any borders.
    The GOI’s alarm and outrage over the Goldstone Report was
    based on their view that the report represented an attempt to
    deny Israel the right to react military to terrorist threats.

    ¶8. (S) Finally, an argument can be made that Israel has
    continued to raise concerns over the F-15 sale as leverage in
    its attempts to modify its purchase of the F-35 Joint Strike
    Fighter (JSF). Israel remains highly committed to the JSF as
    a successor to its aging F-16 fleet, although budgetary
    considerations have raised some doubts how Israel will be
    able to afford it. Nevertheless, Israel continues to press
    for the inclusion of an Israeli-made electronic warfare (EW)
    suite, indigenous maintenance capacity, and a lower cost per
    aircraft into its JSF purchase plans, and has repeatedly
    raised these issues with SecDef.

    ..

    Netanyahu
    effectively captured the public mood with his Bar Ilan
    University speech last June, in which he expressed support
    for a two-state solution, but only if the Plestinian
    leadership would accept Israel as the ation-state of the
    Jewish people and the Palestiian state would be
    demilitarized (and subject toa number of other
    security-related restrictions o its sovereignty that he did
    not spell out in deail in the speech but which are well
    known in Wahington). Palestinian PM Fayyad has recently
    temed Netanyahu’s goal a “Mickey Mouse state” due to all the
    limitations on Palestinian sovereignty that it would appear
    to entail.

    09TELAVIV2500 2009-11-18 14:02

    ¶6. (S) Several questions were raised about China’s position
    on Iran’s efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon. Both sides
    agreed that continued engagement with China and Russia is
    needed — as well as building a consensus in Europe. The USG
    speculated, and the GOI concurred, that China will follow
    Moscow’s lead. USG participants argued that China would seek
    to avoid an international confrontation over Iran. The GOI
    described 2010 as a critical year — if the Iranians continue
    to protect and harden their nuclear sites, it will be more
    difficult to target and damage them. Both sides then
    discussed the upcoming delivery of GBU-28 bunker busting
    bombs to Israel, noting that the transfer should be handled
    quietly to avoid any allegations that the USG is helping
    Israel prepare for a strike against Iran.

    ¶9. (S) The GOI raised the issue of dual citizenship within
    the context of access to sensitive technology. U.S.
    participants acknowledged Israeli concerns, noting that the
    issue is being worked at the highest levels of the USG to
    reach consensus on how to proceed. The GOI recommended
    obtaining a waiver similar to the relationship from which
    Canada or Australia benefit.

    ¶10. (S) The GOI raised the current direction the Government
    of Turkey has taken toward Syria and Iran — and away from
    Israel. Israeli participants argued that Turkey has been
    supportive of Hamas in Gaza while pursuing a more “Islamic”
    direction with the goal of becoming a regional superpower.
    The GOI argued that the Turkish military is losing its
    ability to influence government decisions and strategic
    direction. After this past year, GOI participants said they
    have a “bad feeling” about Turkey. The GOI noted that the
    Israel Air Force (IAF) Commander in the past wanted to speak
    to the Turkish Air Force Commander, but his Turkish
    counterpart declined.

    09TELAVIV2734 2009-12-18 08:08

    Dermer said Netanyahu does not believe Abu Mazen is
    as weak as he claims, and that Abu Mazen has the potential to
    “rise to the occasion” in negotiating peace. However, he
    said Abu Mazen must make some sort of gesture to return to
    the table and “prepare his people” for the difficult
    decisions necessary for peace. Seemingly simple steps such
    as employing new language or condemning violence and
    terrorism — something the GOI believes Abu Mazen has not
    done since 2003 — would be very appreciated, Dermer said.

    09TELAVIV1324 2009-06-18 08:08

    Gilad, Barkan, and the senior MFA officials separately told Hof that Israel was ready to move forward with resolving the issue of the northern end of the village of Ghajar, but doubted that resolving the issue would lead to real progress and risked boosting Hizballah. Hof replied that Ghajar can be an important step as long as any Israeli public message is carefully calibrated to emphasize that Israel is fulfilling its 1701 obligations, and that other parties should do the same, and not as a benefit to the Lebanese moderates. It is a small step, Hof said, but the kind of small step needed in this process.
    TEL AVIV 00001324 003 OF 003
    ¶12. (C) On Sheba’a Farms, all the GOI officials separately repeated the long-standing position that Sheba’a must be resolved in the context of Syria and not Lebanon. Sheba’a, they said, was simply a pretext for Hizballah’s claim to represent “resistance to occupation,” and if it were resolved Hizballah would simply find another pretext. Hof agreed that it was a pretext, but thought it would be useful to make Hizballah publicly shift their pretext. Issues like the seven Lebanese villages in northern Israel, Hof explained, are not taken seriously in Lebanese society, but the Lebanese claim to Sheba’a Farms is. Forcing Hizballah to shift its excuse for retaining an armed force could help expose them to Lebanese society as Iranian surrogates willing to fight to the last Lebanese.

  • 09TELAVIV2502 2009-11-18 14:02

    Gilad described the Middle East peace process as a
    “pillar” of Israeli security. He quoted PM Netanyahu and
    President Peres that Israel remains sincerely committed to
    peace. Gilad noted however, that the re-launching of
    negotiations is complicated by the split in Palestinian
    leadership. He said a weak and corrupt PA had lost Gaza
    despite Israeli warnings. Gilad said 2010 will prove pivotal
    with Palestinian elections looming and Egyptian mediation
    efforts to broker reconciliation between Hamas and the PA
    having failed. That said, he noted that Israeli-PA security
    and economic cooperation in the West Bank continues to
    improve as Jenin and Nablus flourish, and described
    Palestinian security forces as the “good guys.” NEA/IPA
    Director Tom Goldberger said Special Envoy Sen. Mitchell
    continues his mission, and noted that Egyptian reconciliation
    efforts were meant to strengthen the PA, not weaken it.

    ¶12. (S) Gilad addressed Israel’s immediate neighbors within
    the context of the Goldstone Report. He said Israel has
    checked “all the details” of the report, and have concluded
    that the report’s accusations are “baseless.” Buchris said
    the report sets a bad precedent for countries trying to
    protect its citizens from terrorists; he noted 300,000 phone
    calls from the IDF to houses in Gaza ahead of strikes in the
    effort to prevent civilian casualties — “no other country
    has taken such steps,” Buchris argued. A/S Shapiro
    highlighted strong U.S. opposition to the report’s referral
    to the UN Security Council, noting the report’s biased
    mandate.

    ¶13. (S) Gilad said Israel only entered Gaza after Hamas
    violated the ceasefire or “tahdiya,” which many Israelis felt
    was “humiliating” and left Defense Minister Barak open to
    criticism. Gilad characterized Operation Cast Lead as a
    success that accounted for humanitarian issues; the IDF
    showed restraint in the operation because Israel did not want
    to re-occupy Gaza. DASD Kahl advocated sharing perspectives
    and lessons learned on strategic communication to more
    effectively confront terrorists in civilian-populated areas.
    NSC Director for Israel and Palestinian Affairs Prem Kumar
    noted continued UNSC interest in the Goldstone Report, and
    asked Israel to inform the United States on any additional
    efforts or investigations the GOI was taking to help deflect
    any further damage from the report.

    Egypt/Counter-Smuggling
    ———————–

    ¶14. (S) Gilad said Israel was frustrated by its Arab
    neighbors — including specifically Egypt — for supporting
    the Goldstone Report, which complicates the peace process.
    Israel continues to benefit from good security cooperation
    with Jordan, he said. Gilad argued that Egypt could stop
    smuggling into Gaza “completely,” and questioned whether
    Egypt should be judged by its efforts or results.

  • The smoking cable: Israel said it had ’secret accord’ with U.S. over expanding settlements even as Obama said in Cairo they must stop!

    09PARIS827: FRANCE MID-EAST DIRECTOR ON PEACE PROCESS

    MFA Middle East Director (Assistant Secretary-equivalent) Patrice Paoli informed POL Minister Counselor June 18 that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak
    told French officials in Paris June 15 that the Israelis have
    a “secret accord” with the USG to continue the “natural
    growth” of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Paoli noted
    that the French anticipate strong Israeli resistance to USG
    pressure on this issue….

    “President Sarkozy will have
    three messages to convey to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
    when they meet in Paris on June 24:

    “– ‘You think you’ve got time, but you don’t.’
    “– ‘You think you have an alternative solution, but you
    don’t.’
    “– ‘You think you’re stronger than the Palestinians, but
    you’re not.’

    “Paoli said that Sarkozy will stress that ‘there is a single
    door and it is imperative to move through it now.'”

  • WikiLeaks cables: Lamb sales behind New Zealand’s ‘flap’ with Israel

    Friday, 16 July 2004, 04:20 WELLINGTON 000605 US embassy cables: New Zealand PM suspected passport fraud pair were ‘Israeli intelligence agents

    1. (U) In an escalating diplomatic row, two Israeli men were sentenced July 14 by the High Court of New Zealand to six months in jail on charges of trying to obtain a false New Zealand passport. The GoNZ has not pursued allegations that the men are agents of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. While Prime Minister Helen Clark would not confirm which service employed the men, she noted “if one were to lay espionage charges, one would have to be prepared to offer the kind of evidence in court which our intelligence agencies don’t like coming forward to display. We have very strong grounds for believing these are Israeli intelligence agents.”

    . (SBU) Prime Minister Helen Clark suspended high-level contact with Israel and announced a range of diplomatic sanctions, including placing Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) officials under “strict constraints” in their contact with Israelis. Clark justified her actions by stating “the Israeli agents attempted to demean the integrity of the New Zealand passport system. The Israeli Government was asked for an explanation and an apology three months ago. Neither has been received.” Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom responded via radio, saying “we are sorry about this matter. It will be dealt with and all will be done to restore Israel’s long history of good relations with New Zealand.” Clark refused to accept this informal apology. She has announced New Zealand will continue plans to require Israeli officials to apply for visas, to postpone all Israeli consultations this year, and to delay the agrement for a new Israeli Ambassador, resident in Australia. Israel’s president, Moshe Katsov, was expected to visit New Zealand in August, but the GoNZ will likely refuse his request.

    4. (C) Comment: The GoNZ’s public reaction is its strongest diplomatic retaliation in 20 years ) since French spies bombed the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbor in 1985. Clark’s limitations on diplomatic contact go further than the GoNZ reaction in 1985, however, and it was reported that she toughened the language of her response from that put forward by MFAT. The GONZ has little to lose by such stringent action, with limited contact and trade with Israel, and possibly something to gain in the Arab world, as the GoNZ is establishing an Embassy in Egypt and actively pursuing trade with Arab states. With Israeli Government officials eager to repair the relationship, and no time limit on the GoNZ’s restrictions, it is possible the issue may be resolved in six months, when the Cara and Kelman have served their time, and leave the country.

  • Daniel Domscheit-Berg Denies Rumor of Assange-Israeli Deals

    Daniel Domscheit-Berg writes [with permission to publish]:

    21 December 2010

    I have been notified about the general rumour a few weeks ago, and shortly after about the appearance of me as involved in those allegations. I have never spoken to anyone at syriatruth or that reporter that is making these claims, nor do I know anything about any deals JA has allegedly made with Israelis.

    Given what is appearing in the Scandinavian area with the involvement of Shamir and Wahlstrom I wouldn’t actually expect that to happen either. In any case, this latter statement is just my personal judgement.

    I once received a test mail from a , and then a followup regarding OpenLeaks questions. A contact request to him after hearing of the allegations was not replied to.

    In the last week or so I have been contacted by Israeli TV about this, as well as French Le Point today. Those are the only media outfits so far that seem to have taken interest. Other than that it seems to be mainly spreading via weird Russian and religious forums, at least from as much as I am aware of.

    As I read somewhere that this alleged reporter I allegedly talked to works for Hareetz, I have asked the folks from Israeli TV if they could help find out who that is, and how to contact her. They replied that there doesn’t seem to be anyone by that name. So obviously, which was my gut feeling also, that person does not exist. Why that rumour is circulated, I dont know. I have my feelings about that and think we should give it some more time to uncover itself.

    __________

    Sample of many reports of the allegation:

    http://beforeitsnews.com/story/308/209/WikiLeaks_Struck_a_Deal_to_Keep_Away_Anything_Damaging_to_Israel.html

  • […] figured in Wikileaks yet – unfortunately titled post by Asad Abukhalil as there are several cables dealing with Israel and Palestine which I’m annotating on this site. John Pilger: Swedes are smearing him and encouraging the US – this article refers to the […]

  • Wikileaks – 07DAMASCUS409
    ID: 07DAMASCUS409
    Dokument dato: 2007-04-30 10:10:00
    Release dato: 2010-12-17 21:09:00
    Kilde: Embassy Damascus
    header:

    VZCZCXRO1026
    RR RUEHAG RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
    DE RUEHDM #0409 1201058
    ZNY CCCCC ZZH
    R 301058Z APR 07
    FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
    TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3398
    INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
    RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
    RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

    Hovedtekst:

    Monday, 30 April 2007, 10:58
    C O N F I D E N T I A L DAMASCUS 000409
    SIPDIS
    SIPDIS
    EO 12958 DECL: 04/30/2017
    TAGS ECON, KBCT, PHUM, SY
    SUBJECT: ARAB LEAGUE BOYCOTT MEETING: SPIELBERG DESIGNATED
    REF: 06 DAMASCUS 05302
    Classified By: CDA Michael Corbin for reasons 1.4 b/d
    1. (U) Summary. The semi-annual meeting of the Arab League Boycott group was held April 23-26 in Damascus. Participation and results followed expectations and closely paralleled last November,s gathering (reftel). No companies were dropped; the one announced addition to the blacklist of entities is film director Steven Spielberg and his Righteous Persons Foundation. End Summary.
    2. (C) The semi-annual meeting of the Damascus-based Arab League Boycott Office (ALBO) was held April 23-26. In attendance were diplomats and/or representatives from Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, according to Muhammed al Ajami, head of the Syrian Regional Office for the Boycott of Israel. The Arab League main body and the Organization of Islamic Conference also had members present, he said. Malaysia, Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia showed support (via the OIC) for the boycott, and they and other countries will likely implement their own bans following the ALBO format, Ajami speculated. As with prior meetings, the most notable absences were those Arab states who have signed separate accords with Israel: Jordan, Egypt and Mauritania, Ajami said. Djibouti and Somalia did not attend, despite earlier efforts by ALBO seeking to encourage their presence, said Ajami.
    3. (C) No companies were removed from the list during this most recent meeting. The one addition mentioned was film director Steven Spielberg, who was singled out for his USD one million donation to Israel last year during the summer conflict in Lebanon, according to Ajami. The committee banned all films and other products related to Spielberg or his Righteous Persons Foundation, Ajami said. Generic enforcement guidelines given to ALBO members include the banning of DVD imports and airing of Spielberg,s films. XXXXXXXXXXXX
    4. (C) Comment. Ajami was much more forthcoming with EconOff than he was in a November 2006 meeting, expressing confidence that the boycott was growing stronger and asserting that Israel,s position in the region was becoming weaker. Echoing what seemed like a SARG-supplied talking point, Ajami also claimed that Syria is now being recognized as a key player in regional problems and beyond. CORBIN

  • ID: 06JERUSALEM4511
    Dokument dato: 2006-10-16 12:12:00
    Release dato: 2010-12-18 12:12:00
    Kilde: Consulate Jerusalem
    header:

    VZCZCXYZ0000
    OO RUEHWEB

    DE RUEHJM #4511/01 2891228
    ZNR UUUUU ZZH
    O 161228Z OCT 06
    FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
    TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5404
    INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
    RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
    RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
    RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY

    Hovedtekst:

    UNCLAS JERUSALEM 004511

    SIPDIS

    SENSITIVE
    SIPDIS

    NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NEA/IPA FOR
    WILLIAMS/SHAMPAINE/STEINGER; NSC FOR ABRAMS/DORAN/WATERS;
    TREASURY FOR SZUBIN/LOEFFLER/NUGENT/HIRSON

    E.O. 12958: N/A
    TAGS:
    SUBJECT: PALESTINIANS SEEK PROGRESS ON RAFAH/KEREM SHALOM
    AMA IMPLEMENTATION

    REF: JERUSALEM 4472

    1. (SBU) Summary: ConGenoffs, accompanied by USSC, USAID and
    Embassy Tel Aviv representatives, met October 12 with
    Palestinian negotiators from the previous PA government who
    were involved in the negotiation of the Agreement on Access
    and Movement (AMA). The informal meeting, the second in a
    series of preliminary brainstorming discussions intended to
    reinvigorate AMA implementation efforts, focused exclusively
    on the Rafah and Kerem Shalom border crossings with Egypt.
    The Palestinian team pressed for Rafah to be open for Gazan
    exports into Egypt; GOI signature of the Customs Protocol;
    clearance of commercial cargo imports at Kerem Shalom by PA
    and Israeli customs inspectors; expansion of the categories
    of travelers able to use the Rafah passenger crossing; and
    regular access of the EU-BAM monitors to the Rafah crossing
    and of all parties to the Joint Liaison Office. End summary.

    Rafah needs to open for exports
    ——————————-

    2. (SBU) The Palestinians, led by representatives of the
    PLO”s Negotiations Support Unit (NSU) and including former PA
    Planning Minister Ghassan al-Khatib, raised the need for the
    export of goods from Gaza through the Rafah crossing. Except
    for a March 14 shipment of three truckloads of Palestinian
    goods for a trade show in Cairo, commercial cargo has not
    been exported through the Rafah crossing. The Palestinians
    noted Egyptian President Mubarak”s positive comments to PA
    President Abbas on the subject and stressed that the flow of
    commercial cargo exports would be a significant boost to the
    Gazan economy. They urged the USG to press Cairo to send the
    necessary instructions to the Egyptian crossing at Rafah for
    the start of commercial exports, even if only for transit
    shipments through Egypt to third country destinations, using
    the March 14 arrangement.

    Lack of signature on Customs Protocol;
    no clearance of commercial cargo imports
    —————————————-

    3. (SBU) The Palestinian team reminded USG representatives
    that the Kerem Shalom crossing, per the AMA, should be a
    temporary crossing for imports into Gaza from Egypt. Per the
    AMA, after 12 months of PA customs officials clearing
    incoming cargo at Kerem Shalom under the supervision of
    Israeli customs agents, a third party would review the PA”s
    customs capacity and make a joint decision regarding future
    arrangements. The Palestinian team noted the GOI”s refusal
    to sign the Customs Protocol or to acknowledge via letter to
    the USG its applicability at the Rafah and Kerem Shalom
    crossings. As a result, there have been no commercial
    imports to Gaza via Kerem Shalom since the AMA was concluded.
    A Palestinian contractor working for the European
    Commission-funded ASYCUDA customs database implementation
    project said the Palestinian side had submitted a proposal on
    how to work at the Kerem Shalom crossing under the
    supervision of Israeli customs agents but had not received a
    response to date from the GOI. Though some humanitarian
    cargo has been cleared at Kerem Shalom by Israeli customs,
    Palestinian customs agents are not present and have not
    received any data on the humanitarian cargo clearances,
    according to the contractor.

    Rafah — successful passenger crossing
    but want broader use
    ————————————–

    4. (SBU) The Palestinian team noted that the EU-BAM has
    favorably commented on the Palestinian operation of the Rafah
    passenger border crossing, the only area in which the
    Palestinians have been given the opportunity to demonstrate
    their capability. The Palestinian team raised two proposals
    to expand operations at Rafah: (1) open the crossing to all
    travelers, possibly with a 48-hour notification period for
    non-Palestinian identity card holders, or (2) expand the
    categories of travelers able to use Rafah to include
    journalists and third country nationals of Palestinian
    heritage, who do not hold a Palestinian identity card.
    (Note: Per the AMA, only Palestinian identity card holders
    and the four categories of travelers requiring 48-hour
    pre-notification (diplomats, foreign representatives of
    recognized international organizations, investors, and
    humanitarian cases) can cross at Rafah. End note.) The NSU

    advisors also highlighted the need for the GOI to provide the
    PA with complete information concerning Palestinian ID
    holders outside of the country, as called for in the AMA.
    They noted that they have examples of Palestinian ID holders
    who are not on the original list that the GOI shared with the
    PA. (Note: Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in
    the Territories (COGAT) Major General Mishlev gave PA Civil
    Affairs Minister Dahlan a digital copy of the Palestinian
    population registry on November 24, 2005. The Palestinian
    side continues to note that the registry was not complete and
    they are aware of specific names that are not included on the
    registry but should be. End note.)

    Access of EU-BAM monitors to Rafah and
    access by all to Joint Liaison Office
    ————————————–

    5. (SBU) The Palestinian team raised again the issue of
    access to the Rafah crossing by the EU-BAM monitors, noting
    that EU-BAM monitors can only access Rafah through the Kerem
    Shalom crossing that the GOI controls. Even if the EU-BAM
    monitors accessed Rafah through the Egyptian side, the
    Palestinian team noted that Israeli control of the Kerem
    Shalom crossing could prevent operations at the Joint Liaison
    Office (JLO) at Kerem Shalom. EconChief raised the
    possibility of a back-up JLO, should there be a problem with
    the main office at Kerem Shalom. The Palestinian team noted
    that there had been no discussion to date of a back-up site
    for the JLO.
    WALLES

  • […] Palestine Cables’: WikiLeaks dox expose Netanyahu’s vision of Palestinian bantustan (I already spotted this from the outset) Apartheid Israel-style : Law to keep Jews and Arabs apart GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONCLUDES TWO-DAY […]

  • […] Kadaitcha.com has posted extracts and analysis of a number of leaked cables about Israel. […]

  • “Can you extract something from the Israelis? Something they have already said?” Pandering idea for Egypt re NPT NPT http://cablesearch.org/cable/view.php?id=09STATE82013&hl=%3Anewest

  • Gideon Levy conflates Arab peace initiatives with bombing Iran!

    With its sophisticated methods, the Mossad can not only collect intelligence about prospects for war, but also prospects for peace. With its complex ties with various and sundry countries, it’s possible to take advantage not only of another chance to thwart and kill or another attempt to assist a revolution in some shadowy location. Instead it should actually be attempting a revolution here, a revolution in thinking. So that not everything has to be accomplished by force or thuggery and sowing fear. Addressing the Arab League’s peace initiative is no less essential than bombing Iran. There are other ways of doing things, even in the Middle East.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jinjirrie, Allan Siegel. Allan Siegel said: Cablegate, Israel and Palestine « Beyond The Fringe http://t.co/hrIxRGd […]

  • Qatar, US and Iran (13 Feb 2010).

    26. (C) The Amir answered by affirming that his first
    obligation is to defend the interests of Qatar. Due to the
    natural gas field Iran shares with Qatar, Qatar will not
    “provoke a fight” with Iran. He added that in the history of
    the two countries, “Iran has not bothered us.” That said,
    the Amir noted that Iran is an important country in the
    Middle East. He faulted the U.S. for “making the mistake of
    speaking up for protesters” after the disputed Iranian
    presidential elections.

    27. (C) The Iranian regime is strong, continued the Amir,
    because President Ahmadinejad is uncorrupted. “That is the
    secret to his success.” Khatami is also not corrupted, but
    as a reformer he is in a weak position. Rafsanjani, on the
    other hand, is corrupt.

    28. (C) Senator Kerry lamented that every communication the
    current Administration has attempted to the Government of
    Iran has gone back channel and been met with no response.
    There have been non-U.S. initiatives, too. Again, no
    success. The Chairman observed that the Iranians are scared
    to talk. The Supreme Ayatollah had met with Russian President
    Putin, but seems not inclined to meet with other political
    leaders. Our instinct is that we need to find a way to talk
    to him.

    29. (C) Your instinct is right, replied the Amir. The U.S.
    needs to talk directly with senior Iranian officials. The
    Amir then asked, “What if I talk to the Iranian President.
    What would you have me say?”

    30. (C) Senator Kerry responded, “The U.S. seeks serious
    discussion and sought to create a new foundation for a
    relationship based on Iran’s non-confrontational compliance
    with IAEA requirements and other mutual interests.” Those
    interests include dealing with drug-running, the Taliban, and
    illicit trade. The Chairman told the Amir he feared that
    Iran still thinks it is dealing with the 1953 America that
    tried to overthrow the Iranian government.

    31. (C) The Amir responded that you cannot blame them for
    having that attitude, and Senator Kerry agreed, adding that
    the U.S. has a very different posture in the post-Cold War
    world of today. Iran has ambitions; I know this from other
    regional leaders, said the Senator. These are the first
    words that come out of their mouths.

    32. (C) Iran wants to be a “big power,” agreed the Amir, but
    what sort? He reminded Senator Kerry the U.S. should not
    forget that Iranians are Persian and the U.S. needs to
    approach them in that framework.

    33. (C) Senator Kerry stressed that the U.S. “would love to
    have that dialogue.” The U.S. respects Iranian civilization
    — talent, art, culture, etc. It is crazy to continue on
    this collision course. The region needs schools and jobs,
    emphasized the Chairman, not another war. The Amir agreed
    that “demographics are a big worry.” Not just for the
    countries in the region but for the U.S. too.

    34. (C) Many scientific and technological transformations are
    underway, noted the Senator, “but Iran misinterprets the road
    to being a great power and the degree to which the
    international community is concerned about Iran’s acquisition
    of nuclear weapons.” We are at a “fork in the road,” and
    Iran must choose between confrontation or building
    partnerships. If the latter, we can open up new
    opportunities for cooperation in the sciences, technology,
    education, robotics, energy and other ongoing
    transformations.

    35. (C) Going back to the speech he had delivered in Doha the
    previous evening, Senator Kerry told the Amir that 17 former
    U.S. Secretaries of State and Defense had come out in favor
    of eliminating nuclear weapons. Every stop closer to
    realizing that goal is a sign of progress, but “no one
    believes Iranian nukes get us closer to that goal.”

    36. (C) Senator Kerry reported that leaders of regional Arab
    countries tell me they want nuclear weapons if the Iranians
    have them. The Amir responded that he did not believe they
    were serious, but are saying this to put additional pressure
    on Iran.

    37. (C) The Chairman noted that the disputed Iranian
    presidential elections may have derailed U.S. efforts to have
    serious dialogue with Tehran. The Amir agreed, offering that
    the Israelis are also using Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons
    as a diversion from settling matters with the Palestinians.
    The historical backdrop of Arab-Persian relations does not
    help, the Amir added.

    ————–
    FINAL THOUGHTS
    ————–

    38. (C) The Amir advised the U.S. to continue trying to open
    a dialogue with the Iranian leadership. He also told Senator
    Kerry the U.S. needs to tell the Israelis they are causing
    the U.S. to lose the hearts and minds of Muslims. There was
    a time, such as during the Suez Canal crisis, when the Arabs
    loved the Americans and disliked the British and French, he
    said.

    39. (C) Senator Kerry asked the Amir how the U.S. goes about
    changing its reputation. The Amir said first and foremost
    the U.S. must do everything in its power to find a lasting
    solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the best
    way to begin is by moving first on the Syrian track.

    40. (C) The Chairman of the SFRC said he expects a genuine
    effort by the President this year on an agreement and
    expressed his hope that Iranian issues would not complicate
    matters. The Amir agreed, adding that China likes the
    distraction for the U.S. as its forces fight in Iraq and
    Afghanistan.

    41. (C) Senator Kerry concurred, noting that China is lending
    the U.S. money and expanding its influence at U.S. expense.
    He added that he ran against President George W. Bush saying
    the war with Iraq was the wrong war in the wrong place and
    time.

    42. (C) The Amir closed the meeting by offering that based on
    30 years of experience with the Iranians, they will give you
    100 words. Trust only one of the 100.

  • P.S. They’ll Lie About Everything

    The “they” includes not only virtually everyone in the national political class but their many eager courtiers, including the media.

    To anyone who has paid even minimal attention during the last few decades — and whose views are not fatally distorted by tribal political loyalties — this is a mindnumbingly obvious point. The Clinton administration lied about its policy in Yugoslavia (“We have to stop a genocide!” — except there wasn’t one until we intervened), almost everyone lied and continues to lie about Iraq, almost everyone lies about Iran and has for years. The United States government has lied its way into every war it’s ever fought: it’s “The American Way of Doing Business.”

    Ma’an Newsagency DOHA links

    Politact on the Wikileak phenomenon

    At a macro level, the current leaks from Wikileaks represent a reset button in international relations, especially, ties of different countries to the United States. In the emerging multi-polar world, the status of US as the sole super-power is being challenged, and it is not clear if traditional alliances can be relied upon in the future. It is crucial for America to narrow down the variance in public and private stances of various governments and leaders, and to create a realistic assessment of where these countries actually stand on policies and matters of international significance.

    This requires breaking down the norms of diplomacy and be upfront. The duplicitous governments and leaders that have been exposed from the leaks would have to deal with the negative fallout and that mistrust that may emerge. Nevertheless, the leaks have also established a new baseline for the conduct of international relations.

    The leaks also perform another function, which is similar to what was achieved from the release of Pentagon Papers during Vietnam War. What the government is sharing with the public may be in incongruence with reality. Bob Woodward’s recent book, Obama’s Wars, was also a step in presenting a realistic glimpse of the true sentiments of US administration towards complex global challenges. By releasing these stolen documents, and keeping aside legal aspects, Wikileaks is informing the public about what actually is taking place between the US and other governments. The attempt to reset public expectations is also a sign indicating that a significant change in US global posture might be in the offing.

    On the booting of Wikileaks from Amazon

    Lieberman and his fascist SHIELD act

    UK Foreign Office does not regret evicting Chagos islanders

    Wikileaks loses its DNS server due to massive dDos attacks

    Bernard Keane on Crikey: ‘Missing the point on WikiLeaks’

    Guy Rundle on Crikey calls for better Wikileaks data manageability

  • Hurrah, someone’s getting part of the drift!

    Jahanpour: US following Israeli 5-Point Plan on Iran: Wikileaks

    In view of the fact that the United States is arming its “allies” with billions of dollars worth of the most sophisticated weapons, its protestations about Iran’s military threat sounds hollow. According to The Financial Times, the US plans to reinforce Arab military power by selling an unprecedented amount of USD 123 billion to four Persian Gulf littoral states. Saudi Arabia’s share stands at nearly $67 billion, the UAE at $40 billion, Oman at $12 billion and Kuwait at $7 billion, according to the business daily.

    This is despite the fact that those countries and Israel already spend a much larger part of their GDP on arms. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), while Iran’s military spending in 2009 was $9.174 billion (or 2.7% of its GDP), that of Saudi Arabia was $39.257 billion (8.2% of its GDP), that of the tiny United Arab Emirates was $13.5 billion (or 5.9% of its GDP), and that of Israel was $14.34 billion (7% of its GDP). And whereas Iran’s military spending as a share of its GDP is 2.7% (9.174 billion: 340 billion), that of the United States is nearly 7% (1 trillion: 14 trillion). In other words, Iran’s military spending is less than one per cent of the United States’ spending.

    Nevertheless, the US and Israel have the temerity to portray Iran as the main threat to the Middle East and the main obstacle to the “peace process”. There is a wonderful moment in the cables when the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, explains to a US congressional delegation on 28 April last year that “a Palestinian state must be demilitarised, without control of its airspace and electro-magnetic field [sic], and without the power to enter into treaties or control its border”. Well, what then does the Obama Administration mean by a two-state solution and the establishment of a viable Palestinian state? What is the point of the “peace process” for which the United States is willing to make so many concessions to Israel?

    A most revealing case about the US-Israeli approach towards Iran concerns the meeting between the Mossad Chief Meir Dagan and Nicholas Burns, then US under-secretary of state. The Israeli spy chief practically puts forward the “roadmap” that the United States must follow. It includes Israel’s “five-part strategy”. It is worth quoting the passage in full:

    • Bring Iran before the UN security council to pursue a third sanctions resolution;

    • “Covert measures: Dagan and the under-secretary agreed not to discuss this approach in the larger group setting”;

    • Counter-proliferation: prevent know-how and technology from making their way to Iran;

    • Sanctions – the biggest success so far. Three Iranian banks were on the verge of collapse. Financial sanctions were having a nationwide impact.

    • Regime change. Israel believed more should be done to foment this, possibly with the support of student democracy movements and ethnic groups such as the Azeris, Kurds and Baluchs.

    Is this not exactly the formula that has been followed during the past two years by US politicians?

    What the Iranians need above all is a certainty that if they rise up in larger numbers against their unpopular rulers they will not face the ethnic partition of their country, advocated by the Mossad chief, or a military attack on their country.

    In order for Iran to achieve this and for the US to turn over a new leaf in her relations with that ancient and influential country, which has perhaps the most pro-Western population anywhere in the Middle East, it is essential for the US to cut its umbilical chord with the most extreme elements in Israel and usher in a new era in her relations with the Middle East and with the Islamic world as a whole. Such a policy would also be in the long-term interests of Israel, because their present course of action is doomed to failure.

    From the cable itself – the cynical, cruel, Dagan 5 point plan (Aug 07):

    ¶10. (S) Dagan led discussion on Iran by pointing out that the
    U.S. and Israel have different timetables concerning when
    Iran is likely to acquire a nuclear capability. He clarified
    that the Israel Atomic Energy Commission’s (IAEC) timetable
    is purely technical in nature, while the Mossad’s considers
    other factors, including the regime’s determination to
    succeed. While Dagan acknowledged that there is still time
    to “resolve” the Iran nuclear crisis, he stressed that Iran
    is making a great effort to achieve a nuclear capability:
    “The threat is obvious, even if we have a different
    timetable. If we want to postpone their acquisition of a
    nuclear capability, then we have to invest time and effort
    ourselves.”

    ¶11. (S) Dagan described how the Israeli strategy consists of
    five pillars:

    A) Political Approach: Dagan praised efforts to bring Iran
    before the UNSC, and signaled his agreement with the pursuit
    of a third sanctions resolution. He acknowledged that
    pressure on Iran is building up, but said this approach alone
    will not resolve the crisis. He stressed that the timetable
    for political action is different than the nuclear project’s
    timetable.

    B) Covert Measures: Dagan and the Under Secretary agreed not
    to discuss this approach in the larger group setting.

    C) Counterproliferation: Dagan underscored the need to
    prevent know-how and technology from making their way to
    Iran, and said that more can be done in this area.

    D) Sanctions: Dagan said that the biggest successes had so
    far been in this area. Three Iranian banks are on the verge
    of collapse. The financial sanctions are having a nationwide
    impact. Iran’s regime can no longer just deal with the
    bankers themselves.

    E) Force Regime Change: Dagan said that more should be done
    to foment regime change in Iran, possibly with the support of
    student democracy movements, and ethnic groups (e.g., Azeris,
    Kurds, Baluchs) opposed to the ruling regime.

    ¶12. (S) Dagan clarified that the U.S., Israel and like-minded
    countries must push on all five pillars at the same time.
    Some are bearing fruit now; others would bear fruit in due
    time, especially if more attention were placed on them.
    Dagan urged more attention on regime change, asserting that
    more could be done to develop the identities of ethnic
    minorities in Iran. He said he was sure that Israel and the
    U.S. could “change the ruling regime in Iran, and its
    attitude towards backing terror regimes.” He added, “We
    could also get them to delay their nuclear project. Iran
    could become a normal state.”

    ¶13. (S) Dagan stressed that Iran has weak spots that can be
    exploited. According to his information, unemployment
    exceeds 30 percent nationwide, with some towns and villages
    experiencing 50 percent unemployment, especially among 17-30
    year olds. Inflation averages more than 40 percent, and
    people are criticizing the government for investing in and
    sponsoring Hamas, saying that they government should invest
    in Iran itself. “The economy is hurting,” he said, “and this
    is provoking a real crisis among Iran’s leaders.” He added
    that Iran’s minorities are “raising their heads, and are
    tempted to resort to violence.”

    ¶14. (S) Dagan suggested that more could be done to get the
    Europeans to take a tougher stand against Iran. Under
    Secretary Burns agreed, and suggested that Israel could help

    SIPDIS
    by reaching out to the Europeans. Dagan said that Israel is
    already doing this, and would continue to do so. Dagan
    reiterated the need to strike at Iran’s heart by engaging
    with its people directly. Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts
    are important, but more radio transmissions in Farsi are
    needed. Coordination with the Gulf states is helpful, but
    the U.S. should also coordinate with Azerbaijan and countries
    to the north of Iran, to put pressure on Iran. Russia, he
    said, would be annoyed, but it would be fitting, as Russia
    appears bent on showing the U.S. that it cannot act globally
    without considering Russia.

    ¶15. (S) Under Secretary Burns stressed that the USG is
    focused on Iran not only because of its nuclear program, but
    also because it supports terrorism and Shiite militias in
    Iraq. The U.S. approach is currently focused on the
    diplomatic track and increasing pressure on Iran through
    sanctions. Work in the UNSC helps to define the Iranian
    nuclear threat as one that affects international security,
    and not just that of Israel. While UNSC members Russia,
    China and Qatar will water down efforts to increase pressure
    on Iran, it is still worthwhile to push for a third sanctions
    resolution. In the meantime, the U.S. will encourage the
    Europeans, Japan and South Korea to implement unilateral
    sanctions against Iran outside the UNSC framework. The U.S.
    will continue to encourage banks and financial institutions
    to slow down their operations in Iran and financially isolate
    it. Regarding military pressure, the Under Secretary noted
    that the U.S. has deployed 1-2 carrier battle groups in the
    Gulf over the last six months, and that President Bush has
    stated that he will interrupt Iran’s activity in Iraq. As
    for outreach to the Iranian people, the VOA is now
    broadcasting programs in Farsi, and the USG is trying to get
    more Iranian students to visit the U.S. to promote
    people-to-people relations.

  • Jonathan Cook:

    WikiLeaks’ harsh lesson on imperial hubris

    At work here is a set of global forces that the US, in its hubris, believed it could tame and dominate in its own cynical interests. By the early 1990s that arrogance manifested itself in the claim of the “end of history”: the world’s problems were about to be solved by US-sponsored corporate capitalism.

    The new WikiLeaks disclosures will help to dent those assumptions. If a small group of activists can embarrass the most powerful nation on earth, the world’s finite resources and its laws of nature promise a much harsher lesson.

    Amazon drops hosting of WikiLeaks: senator

    Amazon has stopped using its servers to host the WikiLeaks website, which was sluggish and inaccessible in some regions on Wednesday, a U.S. senator said.

    “This morning Amazon informed my staff that it has ceased to host the Wikileaks website,” Joe Lieberman, an independent senator from Connecticut, said in a statement.

    “I wish that Amazon had taken this action earlier based on Wikileaks’ previous publication of classified material,” Lieberman said.

    “The company’s decision to cut off Wikileaks now is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies Wikileaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material,” he said.

    A word from Julian Assange’s Melbourne lawyer.

    Hamas demands clarification about Wikileaks revelations

    Deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau Moussa Abu Marzouk said the information disclosed by Wikileaks about the prior knowledge of the Palestinian authority (PA) and Cairo about the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip is a serious matter that needs clarification from the parties involved in this scandal.

    Abu Marzouk told the Jordanian newspaper Assabeel that this information showed the enormity of hostility and cooperation with the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

    He stressed that Wikileaks’ revelations about Gaza war were not new and many previous facts such as the political arrests in the West Bank against Hamas cadres and the PA’s involvement in Gaza blockade indicated that.

    Fatah faction, for its part, admitted that it knew in advance about Israel’s intention to wage its war on Gaza two years ago which claimed the lives of more than 1, 400 Palestinians and rendered more than 5, 000 others wounded.

    Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf said in response to Wikileaks’ information about his movement’s prior knowledge about this war that the leadership of the PA and Fatah spared no effort to prevent Israel from waging its military aggression on Gaza in late 2008.

    The information revealed by Wikileaks in this regard stated that Israel’s war minister Ehud Barak told US congressmen during a meeting with them in Tel Aviv in June 2008 that he told Cairo and the PA about Israel’s intention to wage a war on Gaza and asked for their cooperation.

    For his part, senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan said his Movement was not surprised to hear this information from Wikileaks and that it knew about the meetings that were held between the parties involved in the war, adding that Wikileaks only further proved these parties’ involvement in the war.

    Radwan called in a statement on the national figures in Fatah faction to state their position towards the PA officials who cooperate and conspire with the Israeli occupation against their people.

  • Political elite closes ranks – I said she would try to laugh it off, and here she is: Clinton says WikiLeaks won’t hurt US diplomacy

    White House: Clinton didn’t order diplomats to spy

    President Barack Obama’s spokesman is labeling “ridiculous” an assertion by the founder of WikiLeaks that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton should resign if she was involved in asking U.S. diplomats to gather intelligence at the United Nations.

    In an online interview with Time magazine from an undisclosed location, Assange on Tuesday called on Clinton to resign “if it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering U.S. diplomatic figures to engage in espionage in the United Nations” in violation of international agreements.

    White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday that Assange’s statements “are both ridiculous and absurd.” Clinton, he said, has done nothing wrong, and U.S. diplomats do not engage in spying. He spoke in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show.

    Meanwhile Putin is seething:

    Putin Criticizes U.S. Remarks on Russia

    His comments, made in an interview to be aired on CNN’s Larry King Live, referred to a cable that said “Russian democracy has disappeared” and described the government as “an oligarchy run by the security services,” a statement attributed to the American defense secretary, Robert M. Gates.

    Mr. Putin said Mr. Gates was “deeply misled,” and said Washington does not welcome critiques of its own political system.

    In the interview, Mr. Putin also warned that Russia would develop and deploy new nuclear weapons if the United States does not accept its proposals on integrating Russian and European missile defense forces — amplifying on a comment made by President Dmitri A. Medvedev in his annual state of the nation address on Tuesday

    Ecuador’s asylum offer turns out to be unofficial – meanwhile Christine Assange, mother of Julian, goes into hiding.

    The Foreign Ministry even issued a statement to that effect, saying Assange “could do investigative work and train researchers in Ecuador,” according to Reuters.

    But a day later, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa held a news conference to announce that “no official offer was made.” He said Lucas was speaking on his own behalf and not in an official capacity.

    Correa is a left-leaning socialist elected in 2006 on a promise to expose corruption among Ecuador’s elites. But on Tuesday, he condemned WikiLeaks’ work in strong terms, saying the website “committed an error by breaking the laws of the United States and leaking this type of information.”

    Julian Assange in TIME:

    Analyzing secret Chinese data or internal documents from Somalia, he said, was “surely” more interesting than blogging about “what’s on the front page of the New York Times, or about your cat or something.”

    But, he said, “when people write political commentary on blogs or other social media, it is my experience that it is not, with some exceptions, their goal to expose the truth. Rather, it is their goal to position themselves amongst their peers on whatever the issue of the day is. The most effective, the most economical way to do that, is simply to take the story that’s going around, [which] has already created a marketable audience for itself, and say whether they’re in favor of that interpretation or not.” (Comment on this story.)

    Instead, it is the people “funded after a career structure” that incentivizes analysis who are the primary consumers of WikiLeaks. “The heavy lifting — heavy analytical lifting — that is done with our materials is done by us and is done by professional journalists we work with and by professional human-rights activists. It is not done by the broader community.” The social networks come in only after “a story becomes a story,” becoming then “an amplifier of what we are doing.” He doesn’t denigrate the role of social networks or WikiLeaks’ need for them. In the ecological cycle of news on the Web and the world, they have become “a supply of sources for us.”

    Julian Assange calls on Hillary Jillary to resign:

    Asked if Mrs Clinton was responsible for revelations that diplomats were being pushed to collect information such as the DNA and credit card numbers of their foreign counterparts, Mr Assange said: ”She should resign if it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering US diplomatic figures to engage in espionage in the United Nations, in violation of the international covenants to which the US has signed up.”

    He also said WikiLeaks was not breaking laws by publishing the cables, contrary to the claims of the Obama administration.

    ”It’s very important to remember the law is not what, not simply what, powerful people would want others to believe it is. The law is not what a general says it is. The law is not what Hillary Clinton says it is.”

  • Canadian government advisor Tom Flanagan requests Obama assassinate Julian Assange.

    Australian government bends over for the US.

    The Australian Labor government has joined with the Obama administration in its attempt to manufacture criminal charges against Julian Assange, an Australian citizen and the editor of WikiLeaks.

    On Monday, Attorney General Robert McClelland told a doorstop press conference that Australia “will support any law enforcement action that may be taken. The United States will be the lead government in that respect, but certainly Australian agencies will assist”. The Australian Federal Police, he stated, would “look at the issue as to whether any Australian laws have been breached as a specific issue as well”.

  • FAIR makes mincemeat of NY Times spinning of the wikileaks cables.

    Of course it’s possible that the North Koreans actually sold Iran missiles that they can use to strike Europe. Or they didn’t do any such thing. Or that they sold them missiles that don’t actually work. But the Times seems to be going with the first story, based on secret documents that, when you actually read them, suggest strongly that the other two possibilities might be correct. In light of this, the decision not to publish the cable makes a lot more sense: You can make strong allegations about an official enemy without letting your readers see the less than overwhelming evidence.

  • Greg Barns on The Drum:

    Here’s a theory, and a plausible one at that. The Gillard government is getting pressure from Washington to close down Wikileaks founder Julian Assange because he is an Australian citizen. So Attorney-General Robert McClelland announces yesterday that he has asked the Australian Federal Police to see if Mr. Assange can have the book thrown at him and have his passport cancelled.

    Mr. McClelland’s decision amounts to little more than posturing. This is because Mr. Assange would appear to have committed no crime under Australia’s suite of laws on disclosure of sensitive state information.

    Julian Assange is an Australian citizen who does not deserve to be harassed by the Australian government, he has done nothing wrong.

  • Important article – Amy Goodman interviews Noam Chomsky on Wikileaks

    What that reveals is the profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership and the Israeli political leadership. These things aren’t even to be mentioned. This seeps its way all through the diplomatic service. The cables to not have any indication of that.

    When they talk about Arabs, they mean the Arab dictators, not the population, which is overwhelmingly opposed to the conclusions that the analysts here- Clinton and the media- have drawn. There’s also a minor problem; that’s the major problem. The minor problem is that we don’t know from the cables what the Arab leaders think and say. We know what was selected from the range of what they say. So there is a filtering process. We don’t know how much it distorts the information. But there is no question that what is a radical distortion is- or, not even a distortion, a reflection–of the concern that the dictators are what matter. The population does not matter, even if it’s overwhelmingly opposed to U.S. policy.

    Why I Love WikiLeaks
    For restoring distrust in our most important institutions. (By Jack Shafer)

    Blogging the WikiLeaks—Day 3 – Greg Mitchell

    To come : Flashback: Wikileaks chief said he has 5GB of secret docs on Bank of America

    Glenn Greenwald : WikiLeaks reveals more than just government secrets

    It’s one thing for the Government to shield its conduct from public disclosure, but it’s another thing entirely for the U.S. media to be active participants in that concealment effort. As The Guardian’s Simon Jenkins put it in a superb column that I can’t recommend highly enough: “The job of the media is not to protect power from embarrassment. . . . Clearly, it is for governments, not journalists, to protect public secrets.” But that’s just it: the media does exactly what Jenkins says is not their job, which — along with envy over WikiLeaks’ superior access to confidential information — is what accounts for so much media hostility toward that group. As the headline of John Kampfner’s column in The Independent put it: “Wikileaks shows up our media for their docility at the feet of authority.”

    Holder v. Assange

    Maybe because he’s from Australia, a U.S. satrap on the far rim of the American Empire, that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange doesn’t know that Washington does not allow anyone to steal information unless it orders them to do so. Attorney General Eric Holder, the Obama hack who will not prosecute CIA thugs for torture and murder, says he is mounting a criminal investigation against Assange because anyone who breaks American law “will be held responsible.” Prosecuting CIA Mafioso just doesn’t excite Holder. Threatening Assange for releasing a quarter of a million of the Empire’s secret files, does, especially since Assange did not alter or prettify them but released them in their unexpurgated state. Assange may or may not have raped a couple of Swedish ladies, as that spineless government suddenly needs to know, but there is no question he has disrobed the Statue of Liberty and shown all the world the whore she has become.

  • The Grand Old Duke of York makes a complete tosser of himself in Kazakhstan in Jan 10:

    Showing that he is an equal-opportunity Great Game player, HRH then turned to the topic of China. He recounted that when he had recently asked the President of Tajikistan what he thought of growing Chinese influence in Central Asia, the President had responded “with language I won’t use in front of ladies.” His interlocutors told the Prince that while Russians are generally viewed sympathetically throughout the region, the Chinese are not. He nodded, terming Chinese economic and possibly other expansion in the region “probably inevitable, but a menace.”

    The brunch had already lasted almost twice its allotted time, but the Prince looked like he was just getting started. Having exhausted the topic of Kyrgyzstan, he turned to the general issue of promoting British economic interests abroad. He railed at British anti-corruption investigators, who had had the “idiocy” of almost scuttling the Al-Yamama deal with Saudi Arabia. (NOTE: The Duke was referencing an investigation, subsequently closed, into alleged kickbacks a senior Saudi royal had received in exchange for the multi-year, lucrative BAE Systems contract to provide equipment and training to Saudi security forces. END NOTE.) His mother’s subjects seated around the table roared their approval. He then went on to “these (expletive) journalists, especially from the National Guardian, who poke their noses everywhere” and (presumably) make it harder for British businessmen to do business. The crowd practically clapped. He then capped this off with a zinger: castigating “our stupid (sic) British and American governments which plan at best for ten years whereas people in this part of the world plan for centuries.” There were calls of “hear, hear” in the private brunch hall. Unfortunately for the assembled British subjects, their cherished Prince was now late to the Prime Minister’s. He regretfully tore himself away from them and they from him. On the way out, one of them confided to the Ambassador: “What a wonderful representative for the British people! We could not be prouder of our royal family!”

    Prince Andrew reached out to the Ambassador with cordiality and respect, evidently valuing her insights. However, he reacted with almost neuralgic patriotism whenever any comparison between the United States and United Kingdom came up. For example, one British businessman noted that despite the “overwhelming might of the American economy compared to ours” the amount of American and British investment in Kyrgyzstan was similar. Snapped the Duke: “No surprise there. The Americans don’t understand geography. Never have. In the U.K., we have the best geography teachers in the world!”

  • There’s an excellent post on Julian Assange’s motivations and philosophy in confronting and nullifying the ‘invisible government’ here.

    The question for an ethical human being — and Assange always emphasizes his ethics — has to be the question of what exposing secrets will actually accomplish, what good it will do, what better state of affairs it will bring about. And whether you buy his argument or not, Assange has a clearly articulated vision for how Wikileaks’ activities will “carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity,” a strategy for how exposing secrets will ultimately impede the production of future secrets. The point of Wikileaks — as Assange argues — is simply to make Wikileaks unnecessary.

  • Cablegate, Israel and Palestine « Beyond The Fringe…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……