‘Israel enjoys peace with Egypt, Jordan, but not peoples’

WikiLeaks cable: "Israel believes moderate Arab states could fall victim to regime change, resume hostilities."

December 21, 2010 01:59
2 minute read.
Mubarak and Netanyahu meet in Sharm e-Sheikh.

Netanyahu Mubarak 311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Israel’s relationship with Egypt and Jordan is “fraying,” warned the US in a year-old WikiLeaks cable released late Sunday night. “Israel enjoys peace with Egypt and Jordan, but not with its people,” said the cable, which was sent from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv in November 2009, in advance of a visit to Israel by Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg.

When Israel assesses US arms sales in the region, it approaches it from a worst-case scenario, believing moderate Arab nations such as Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia could fall victim to regime change and resume hostilities against Israel, said the cable.

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“It is primarily for this reason that Israel continues to raise concerns regarding the F-15 sale to Saudi Arabia, especially if the aircraft are based at Tabuk Airfield near the Israeli border,” stated the cable.

“The United States remains committed to Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge and has taken a number of steps to alleviate Israeli concerns over some potential US arms sales in the region,” stated the cable.

The US, in the cable, also speculated that Israel continued to raise the issue of F-15 sales to Saudi Arabia as leverage to modify its deal with the US to purchase F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes.

Budgetary considerations have raised doubts as to how Israel can afford these planes, said the cable.

“Nevertheless, Israel continues to press for the inclusion of an Israeli-made electronic warfare (EW) suite, indigenous maintenance capacity, and a lower cost per aircraft into its JSF purchase plans, and has repeatedly raised these issues with the Secretary of Defense,” said the cable.

Turning to Lebanon, the cable said, “The transformation of Michel Aoun into Hizbullah’s primary Lebanese ally may be the final nail in the coffin of Israel’s decades-old relations with Lebanon’s Maronite Christians.”

With regard to Turkey, Israel was alarmed by the direction of its foreign policy, stated the cable.

Israel believes that Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and its Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu could be “punishing Israel for the EU’s rejection of Turkey while driving Israel’s erstwhile strategic ally into an alternative strategic partnership with Syria and Iran,” stated the cable.

“Erdogan’s rhetorical support for [Iran’s President Mahmoud] Ahmedinejad and his dismissal of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program is feeding the sense here of impending crisis, although the robust US-Israeli security relationship is profoundly reassuring to Israeli security officials and the general public alike,” stated the cable.

Israel’s seizure of a ship with a large cargo of Iranian arms on November 3, 2009, provided “tangible proof of Iran’s involvement in arming Hamas and Hizbullah,” stated the cable.

Syrian intentions are also a source of concern, as Israeli analysts see Syrian President Bashar Assad moving closer to Iran and Hizbullah, even as Syria improves its relations with the West, said the cable.

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