WikiLeaks has published 1.7 million US diplomatic documents ranging from
1973-1976 online. It is their largest release to date and it is named after the
former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger because many of the documents were
addressed to or written by him.
The Jerusalem Post has uncovered a cable
sent from the US Embassy in Saudi Arabia on January 9, 1975, which analyzed the
Israeli- Arab conflict. It was concluded that it was Israel’s stubborn position
that was holding back peace.
At one point the cable stated,
“Nevertheless, viewed from here, the Israeli pessimism seems largely if not
entirely unwarranted. It seems based on an extraordinary lack of understanding
of what happened in the Arab world in the last year and a half. Rather than
girding their loins for the fifth, sixth, seventh Israeli-Arab wars. The
Israelis might examine more carefully than they seem to have done so far the
alternative of a peaceful accommodation with the Arabs.
The US report
also went into the Israel public’s pessimistic attitude toward peace following
the Yom Kippur War, “We have been struck by the growing pessimism in Israel and
in American Jewish circles. It seems to be based on the axiom that Israel cannot
be expected to relinquish any more of the Arab lands it conquered in 1967
without Arab guarantees of security for Israel, the collorary [sic] that the
Arabs will never give such guarantees and the conclusion that another war is
The report seemed to be blaming Israel for not
making peace with the Arabs and even shows its disappointment with the Arab
offer in Algiers for going too far in making concessions to Israel.
Arab decision in Algiers to give de facto recognition to Israel in its 1967
borders was perhaps a mistake.
To announce, before negotiations start,
what is your final position is usually not a good bargaining tactic,” the report
The mention of Algiers, the capital of Algeria, most likely
refers to the Arab League summit that was held there in 1973, whose resolution
called for an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories and
Jerusalem. It also called for supporting the Palestinian resistance by all
possible means. A “just peace” based on Arab demands was offered conditionally
if Israel agreed to their demands.
The report goes on to make stinging
criticism against the Israeli position.
“Before talking about
extermination, and before allowing either the Masada or the Sampson complex to
progress to obsession, the Israelis might usefully examine their own position
and that of the Arabs,” the report stated, adding that Cairo and Damascus
strongly yearn for peace.
“All reports we have heard and read from Egypt
and Syria lead us to believe that those two countries strongly yearn for peace
and that they would like to devote their energies to reconstruction of their
Then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, the cables continued, was
not helping the Arab leaders who sought peace.
“The advocates of this
approach, however, have not been helped by statements of Rabin and others in
Israel that the next withdrawal will be the last for several years.”
report concluded with a policy prediction reminiscent of contemporary
“The Palestinians might consider a demilitarized state as
humiliating or detracting from their sovereignty, but it is unlikely they would
get much sympathy or help from the Saudis if they tried to spoil a settlement.
If they agreed, they could expect massive Saudi financial support to make their
tiny new state viable. Jordan and Israel would benefit vicariously.”
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