Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said that over the next six months, Wikileaks will be releasing more files related to Israel.
“There are 3,700 files related to Israel and the source of 2,700 files is Israel,” he told Al-Jazeera on December 22. “The Guardian, El Pais and Le Monde have published only two percent of the files related to Israel due to the sensitive relations between Germany, France and Israel.”
He was responding to allegations in the Middle Eastern media that Wikileaks had made a deal with Israeli authorities not to publish cables that would discredit Israel.
Wikileaks had “no contacts with Israel, but I am sure Mossad is following our activities closely like Australia, Sweden and the CIA”, Assange said.
Many of the cables from the US embassy in Tel Aviv leaked so far consist of US diplomats diligently repeating Israel’s warnings on the impending nuclear threat from Iran.
However, there are occasional comments suggesting that US diplomats are aware these warnings are exaggerated and should be taken “with a grain of salt”.
More significant is the revelation of how much deliberate planning has gone into creating the humanitarian catastrophe in the besieged Gaza Strip.
A 2008 cable outlined the plan to keep Gaza’s 1.5 million people destitute: “As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to (US embassy economic officers) on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge.”
The cables confirm that Israel was responsible for the January 2010 assassination of Palestinian resistance activist Mahmoud Al Mabhouh in Dubai.
The use by the Israeli assassins of passports cloned and identities stolen from citizens of Israel’s allies meant that leaders of some of those countries, including then-Australian PM Kevin Rudd, felt obliged to give Israel a rare public rebuke.
Despite this public posture, the cables reveal Israel remained appreciative of Rudd’s strong support for Israel and Australian politicians’ generally uncritical support.
In contrast to what the US government says in public, the cables also show that it is fully aware that the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks it pushes cannot succeed, as “there is too wide a gap between the maximum offer any Israeli prime minister could make and the minimum terms any Palestinian leader could accept and [politically] survive”.
The official US position has been for a halt to the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank. But another cable refers to a secret US-Israeli accord to seek “to continue the ‘natural growth’ of Israeli settlements in the West Bank”.
The degree to which pro-Israel bias is simply routine for US diplomats is reflected in the cables sent from the Tel Aviv embassy during the three week Israeli assault on Gaza that began on December 27, 2008.
The cables are full of poignant accounts of Israeli suffering — such as “burned dolls and destroyed children’s toys” in an unoccupied kindergarten hit by Palestinian rocket fire — while ignoring the 1400 mainly civilian Palestinians who were killed by the Israeli military.
Evidence of US complicity in Israel’s assault is provided by a cable from the US embassy in Tel Aviv, five days before the carnage began. The cable told Washington: “Our recommendation is that [the] US [government] start with putting the blame on [Palestinian resistance organisation] Hamas for the illegitimacy of its rule in Gaza.”
Wikileaks has also exposed several Western-supported Middle Eastern dictators who use fiery anti-Israel rhetoric in public, while secretly collaborating with Israel.
In July 2006, invading Israeli troops were fought to a standstill by resistance fighters affiliated with Hezbollah and other Lebanese opposition parties. The Israeli invasion killed 1200 Lebanese civilians.
Like other Arab governments, Saudi Arabia publicly applauded this rare Israeli defeat.
Wikileaks cables reveal, however, that in private discussions with US diplomats Saudi leaders took the opposite position.
In 2008, the Saudi regime even offered to spearhead an Arab military forced to invade Lebanon, with US naval and air support, and crush Hezbollah.
A March 2008 cable also details advice given by Lebanese defence minister Elias Murr to US diplomats on how Israel could be more successful next time it attacked his country. Avoiding targeting Christian communities, which is Murr’s electoral base, was part of his advice.
He expressed particular concern about how to prevent the Lebanese army from defending Lebanon against an Israeli attack.
The cable said: “Murr was especially concerned for members of the 1st and 8th Brigades in the Beka’a valley. Murr thinks that these units will be cut off from HQ support while Israel is conducting operations against Hezbollah.
“They will have to turn to the local populace for food, water etc. Since the populace is mainly Hizballah supporters, Murr is afraid that these two units could be dragged into the fight, the ultimate disaster Murr hopes to avoid.”
The cables confirmed that Egypt is a willing partner in the siege of Gaza. They also confirmed that the Palestinian Fatah organisation, which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA), asked Israeli intelligence to assist it during its 2007 attempt to overturn the elected Hamas government in Gaza.
Some Fatah leaders went as far as asking Israel to attack Hamas.
The cables have also indicated Israeli intelligence had a “very good working relationship” with the Fatah-run PA, and that it “shared almost all the intelligence it collects” with Israel.
Such revelations can only fuel the anger of many Palestinians who see the Fatah-run PA as collaborating with Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.
The Wikileaks cables reveal that both Egypt and the Fatah-led PA were consulted by Israel before the 2008 assault on Gaza.
Perhaps not surprising was the revelation that Egyptian-brokered peace talks between Fatah and Hamas were only held with the intention of isolating Hamas and legitimising Fatah.