The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proudly proclaimed a few days ago that he had nothing to worry about with regards to the release of the so-called ‘Israel file’ of leaked diplomatic cables courtesy of Wikileaks. The unfortunate reality is that his confidence is not misplaced.
His exact statement was the following, “Israel has not been harmed at all by the publication in WikiLeaks. Every Israeli leader over the years has known that cables are liable to leak and therefore we adapted ourselves to the reality of leaks. This influences whom I bring into meetings and what I say in meetings.”
The underwhelming flurry of leaks Haaretz has released in the past week has only confirmed this viewpoint. It is clear from the reactions stories have been producing, and the examination of the impact each one has had on Israel, that Israel will walk away from the biggest leak in history without even a scratch.
The issue isn’t so much the lack of stories, or the lack of interesting aspects to them. In fact some stories have been quite shocking. The revelation about the contact between the Bahraini government and Israel is probably the most shameful exposure. Also, claims that de facto Egyptian leader Mohammed Tantawi was an obstacle to preventing arms smuggling in Gaza has also been an interesting point and one that has redeemed the man to some extent in the eyes of many.
The problem is that there is nothing incriminating about Israel. Not a single comment (known positions of politicians notwithstanding) that can be used to prove the accusations that detractors of the state regularly throw at it. The only cable causing a storm there were claims that a prominent Ashkenazi Labour MK was unhappy with Labour leader Amir Peretz for being of Sephardic descent.
What about any comments on Israel’s nuclear programme? How about any secrets from the massacres in Lebanon and Gaza? How about something related to settlements and attempts to obstruct peace? Nope. Nothing. Netanyahu’s claims hold true.
The mad talk of conspiracy between Julian Assange and Mossad is in fact just that; mad talk. Not even in secret meetings with their closest allies do Israeli representatives reveal deep secrets. There is no conspiracy here. Our esteemed leaders in the Arab world are puppets. They will essentially blurt out and say anything to US diplomats because this is their place in the world’s pecking order. Little children currying favour with the big boys and doing anything they can to get it. Israeli leaders not so much. For all the talk of their relationship with the US, the confidential affairs of the very secretive state stay that way.
For those of us who were waiting tirelessly to hear of cables revealing incriminating details of Israel’s activities, this will be a huge setback. The Wikileaks motto, ‘we open governments’ has held true over the past year. Watching an endless stream of documents reveal more and more information about governments various little activities, we were puzzled as to why nothing was being published about the state. Clearly, it was rather naive to think that these leaks would produce anything tangible with which we could turn up the heat on Israel.
Views expressed in articles are the author’s and do not represent Comment Middle East
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