WikiLeaks: US blamed Israel for peace delay in 1975

'Post' uncovers leaked cable from US Embassy in Saudi Arabia analyzing Israeli-Arab conflict, sympathizing with Arab position.

By
April 10, 2013 05:08
3 minute read.
Henry Kissinger talks to The Washington Post.

Henry Kissinger Interview 370. (photo credit: Screenshot)

 
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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.

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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 therefore inevitable.”

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.

“The 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 stated.

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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 countries.”

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.”

The report concluded with a policy prediction reminiscent of contemporary arguments.

“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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