Daily Israel Report

PM on WikiLeaks: ‘Now World Knows what Arabs Say About Iran’

WikiLeaks exposures are a dangerous precedent but show the world Arabs’ private fears of Iran's nuclear threat, Prime Minister Netanyahu says.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/29/2010, 3:41 PM / Last Update: 11/29/2010, 3:54 PM

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WikiLeaks exposures are a dangerous precedent but have revealed to the world the Arabs’ private fears of  the Iranian nuclear threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday.

He added that Israel was not damaged by the leaks, which at worst caused some embarrassment to American officials, who were quoted in diplomatic cables as using negative terms to describe several world leaders.

The documents officially revealed what everyone already knows from “sources” quoted in the media – that the Arab world is frightened of the prospect of a nuclear Iran.

The question now is whether Arab leaders will admit in public what they said through private diplomatic channels, the Prime Minister said. “More and more countries realize that Iran is the central threat… If they start saying it publicly, it can pave the road to peace."

"It can eliminate the theory that Israel is the obstacle to peace and show that we have mutual interests," Netanyahu said. "Our region has been hostage to a narrative that is the result of 60 years of propaganda, which paints Israel as the greatest threat. In reality, leaders understand that that view is bankrupt. For the first time in history there is agreement that Iran is the threat."

Although the exposures actually helped the Jewish State by confirming the accuracy of Israeli warnings and showing no discrepancy between what Israel says publicly and privately, Prime Minister Netanyahu and the military sensor expressed fears over the method.

IDF Censor Col. Sima Vaknin-Gil told Voice of Israel government radio that the disclosures are a mark of anarchism, and Prime Minister Netanyahu stated, "History has been made in the interface between journalism and diplomacy.”

The Prime Minister maintained, "If the exposure causes the region's leaders to refrain from saying what they think in private talks, then we have a problem."

He said that exposure will make the government more careful when meeting in private, suggesting that high-level meetings will be restricted to as few as four people. "Each person you add raises the chance for a leak," he added.