The WikiLeaks website released nearly 4,000 US diplomatic cables regarding Israel on Wednesday that originated from the Tel Aviv embassy.

The 3,925 cables, which were all unclassified, deal with issues such as the peace process with the Palestinian Authority and the importance of good Vatican-Jewish relations.

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One cable, released in May 1990, suggested that Libya provided direct support for a terrorist attack carried out by the Palestinian Liberation Front. Following the attack, the US State Department said that it would release a white paper titled “Libyan support for terrorism threatens the Middle East.”

The US State Department said that it was unsure of the economic effect that the 2004 killing of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in Gaza would have. The leaked cable did however suggest that the death of the wheelchair-bound Hamas leader who was killed by an IAF missile as he left a mosque in the Gaza Strip would seriously affect tourism in Israel.

Good relations between the Vatican and the Jewish community were seen as important according to a cable released in April 2004 that said that a commission for religious relations had placed its dialogue with Judaism and efforts to combat anti- Semitism high on its agenda.

According a leaked cable from June 2005, the US State Department highlighted the importance of understanding the religious sector in Israel because “coalitions often give small parties, including the religious parties, influence far exceeding their electoral weight.”

The same cable stressed the importance of understanding the factors determining policy positions held by the religious population and the political positions and behavior of all the different strands within the Orthodox movement because of the disengagement process that was looming at the time.

On a lighter note, a cable from April 2004 highlighted the good work that Abouelafia bakery in Jaffa was doing in order to foster a better business environment for Israeli Arabs as well as encouraging peaceful coexistence in the broader arena.

The bakery owner, Hamis Abouelafia, spoke with a US economic officer about subjects ranging from his multi-ethnic charity organization to the annual Arab Land Day events, the cable said.

The officer discovered that his unusual perspective “may offer some surprising solutions to the issues Israeli-Arab businesses face in the current environment.”







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