Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Revealing Facts or Establishing Them? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The avalanche of top secret cables leaked from the American departments of state and defense is still an intriguing enigma to many commentators and political analysts. A large portion of the hundreds of thousands of secret documents and cables posted on WikiLeaks are about the Middle East and the events which happened in the region during the past decade. They cover the wars waged by the United States and its armed wing on Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Gaza and their efforts to destabilize Arab countries, weaken them through military bases and drain their cash liquidity under different pretexts. The process culminated in assassinating major political leaders in Lebanon to achieve political objectives. Now we can see all this on WikiLeaks. Why and How?

TV stations hurried to interview the website’s founder and owner, Julian Assange – the other enigma, who, on the one hand, appears to have obtained all these documents without an apparent effort, and, on the other, has been indicted in Sweden on charges of rape. This makes the whole issue more sensational. So, is indicting Assange meant to say that the leaks are impossible to control?

After Assange received threats and applied for asylum in Switzerland, his website revealed tens of thousands of confidential cables exchanged between American embassies in the Middle East and the US state department, between the State Department and Arab officials or between Israeli and Arab officials. The dominant subject in these cables is the convergence of views between Arab and Israeli officials on Iran; and that source of danger is not Israel alone but Iran as well. Some Arab officials even share this concern and call for putting an end to Iran’s nuclear program. So, are we supposed to follow the theory that my enemy’s enemy is my friend?

What is remarkable is that most American embassies in the region have leaked minutes of meetings which aim at distorting the image of the Arabs, even by some of their officials when they stress that “a Palestinian state must be demilitarized, without control of its airspace and electro-magnetic field [sic], and without the power to enter into treaties or control its border”. (See Robert Fisk, The Independent, 30 November 2010). The documents also contain a denial by Major General Amos Gilad of the Goldstone report about the war on Gaza. The leaks make the situation more murky when they reveal that some Arab leaders describe Benjamin Netanyahu as “elegant and charming”. The Israeli envoy to an Arab country says that the country’s leader has “a strategic view of the region that is curiously close to the Israeli one”. The question is: how could American ambassadors to a number of countries leak hundreds of thousands of secret documents without their government raising any question or making a case against these ambassadors for breach of their professional integrity? The second question is why didn’t we read any leaks which indict the Israeli Mossad known for assassinating and torturing Palestinian leaders and activists, although there are indications of its involvement in assassinating Lebanese figures with the purpose of achieving well known and declared Israeli objectives.

What the “secret” documents have revealed is that the United States does not support – in reality not in statements – either democracy or freedom in the Middle East. The example it struck in destroying Palestinian democracy is still alive in the minds and well known to everyone. The revelations about torturing prisoners and violating human rights are also well known. What is new, however, and what could be behind releasing all these documents, is to show a new reality at the heart of the Arab world. It shows the amount of support that Israel and its strategies and policies enjoy, even among Arabs’ political leaders themselves. The worldwide coverage of the leaks overshadowed the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People marked on November 29. It also coincided with new arrests, threats and racist policies against Palestinian civilians. Statements by Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, that “settlement freeze” should be eliminated from Israeli terminology, went unnoticed and without comment from Arab politicians. And Israel once again arrested elected members to the Palestinian parliament, in addition to atrocious Israeli crimes against Palestinian children. (See Avi Issacharoff’s “Childcare experts condemn police treatment of Palestinian stone-throwers”, Haaretz, 1 December 2010). Issacharoff writes about the suffering of Palestinian children at the hands of Israeli police and the treatment they are subjected to which should be a disgrace to human history and not only Jewish history. This suffering did not merit any coverage in the Western media, nor even in the Arab media.

If things are measured in terms of their outcome, then WikiLeaks did not offer the Arabs or the Palestinians any insight into the Israeli crimes committed against them. Neither did they push forward this struggle one single inch towards finding justice to the Palestinian people who are oppressed and deprived of freedom, democracy and human rights. They are the native people oppressed on their own land and being subjected to the same ethnic cleansing that native peoples have undergone on other continents.

After the media’s massive and absolute disregard to the suffering of the Palestinian people which did not cause any pangs of remorse in humanity’s conscience or move it towards achieving justice, come hundreds of thousands of Wikileaks documents to overlook completely Israeli crimes against this people. On the contrary, they came to confirm that Israel’s vision for the region and its future is shared by many Arab leaders who did not so far dare declare their support of Israel against their own people. So, is this stage managed process intended to move this conflict yet another step against Arab rights and in favor of Israel which still occupies Arab land and usurps their rights?