Among the revelations revealed by the US diplomatic cables released last week are a number of discussions between Israeli and US diplomats. In one such leaked conversation, an Israeli official told his US counterpart that he understood, ‘the sometimes difficult position the U.S. finds itself in given its global interests, and conceded that Israel’s security focus is so narrow that its…concerns often clash with broader American security interests in the region.’The interests that he referred to include a desire by US weapons manufacturers, to sell as many weapons as possible, including to countries in the Middle East. This conflicts, according to the quoted Israeli official, with Israel’s desire to remain the military superpower of the region.
Currently, Israel’s army ranks the fourth largest in the world, in terms of weaponry. The Israeli government has also maintained a nuclear program since the 1970s, which was exposed by nuclear scientist Mordechai Vanunu, but which Israeli officials refuse to acknowledge. They also refuse to allow inspection of their atomic weapons manufacturing plant by the International Atomic Energy Agency, making the Israeli state the only current “rogue” nuclear power.
While many of the diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks last week concern Iran, including a statement by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak that the US had ‘until the end of 2010’ to ‘deal with Iran’ before Israel took unilateral steps against Iran, there was no evidence in any of the documents that Iran is engaging in a nuclear weapons program. In fact, Iran agreed in May 2010 to ship its uranium processing overseas to assuage US fears about enrichment inside Iran. Despite this concession, the pressure against Iran, particularly by Israel, has only increased throughout 2010.
Since the leaks were published last week, the US government has launched an all-out cyber-assault on the wikileaks website, forcing its servers to shut down, and enlisting the help of other governments around the world to prevent the government and corporate watchdog site from continuing to operate. Wikileaks insists that it has not knowingly broken any laws.