What does Wikileaks say about Arutz Sheva?

Wikileaks database of confidential documents features over 1,500 mentions or citations of Arutz Sheva.

Hillel Fendel, | updated: 12:12

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
Reuters

The Wikileaks database of confidential documents mentions or quotes Arutz Sheva well over 1,500 times.

Reviewing the material is clearly a daunting task, even as it provides a fascinating look into Israel's recent history. Preliminary investigation finds that Arutz Sheva was first mentioned in March 2004, in an analysis prepared of the National Religious Party (forerunner of today's Jewish Home) and its then-leader, MK Zevulun Orlev.

The document is listed, as are most of the documents, as "unclassified but confidential," and was prepared for U.S. government departments and policy makers. The issue at the time was Ariel Sharon's unilateral Disengagement plan.

The now-leaked analysis stated that the plan "threatens the interests of NRP's core constituancy [sic], the settlers. Orlev, unlike the majority of NRP members, nonetheless opposes the party leaving the government coalition if the plan is brought to the Knesset. In a recent interview with a right-wing TV station, Arutz Sheva, Orlev said he would support withdrawing from the coalition only if he is convinced that the NRP has absolutely no influence on coalition decisions regarding any withdrawal. Orlev noted that Sharon has not brought the issue to the Cabinet, that he has no majority because of the right-wing faction, and that as long as this is the case, Sharon will not bring the matter to a Knesset vote."

The majority of mentions of Arutz Sheva appear to come from The Global Intelligence Files, prepared by the Texas-headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor. There is no love lost between Stratfor and Wikileaks, and the latter claims that the "over five million emails" it has from Stratfor "reveal the workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations… and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods."

Many of the citations of Arutz Sheva deal with otherwise sparsely-reported Palestinian Arab attacks on Israeli targets. For instance, on March 24, 2011, Drew Hart prepared a report entitled "Israeli-Palestinian Attacks Since February 1st," in which Arutz Sheva’s reports were quoted several times. For instance, the summary included this Arutz Sheva story from Mar. 23:

"Hamas-ruled Gaza fired a second Grad rocket at Be'er Sheva after firing seven mortar shells at Israeli population centers Wednesday morning."

The analysis included a list of Israeli responses, if any, to each attack.

Stratfor also took interest in, and highlighted for its US government readers, Jewish enthusiasm for its holiest site, the Temple Mount. On June 2, 2011, this Arutz Sheva report was cited:

Temple Mount Priestly Blessing Allowed for the First Time- Arutz Sheva: "Hundreds of religious Jews from all streams were able to happily commemorate the 44th anniversary of the first-ever entry of Israeli soldiers onto the Temple Mount. For the first time in the history of Israeli restrictions on Jewish entry to the Temple Mount, the recitation of the Priestly Blessing was permitted there. It happened on Wednesday, Jerusalem Reunification Day, when hundreds of visitors – all of whom immersed in a mikveh (ritual bath) prior to coming and took other precautions required by Jewish Law -- were allowed to enter the Temple Mount in groups of 30-40."

In June 2011, Stratfor prepared this analysis for its highly-placed government and other customers: "Review of Israeli Right-Wing, Settlement Commentaries 1-15 June 11," featuring "highlights of commentaries carried by right-wing and settlement websites." Appearing around the time that PM Netanyahu declared before Congress his commitment to the establishment of a generously-sized Palestinian state, Stratfor quoted the following Arutz Sheva editorial:

"This Redemption is coming not by the way of miracles, but it is not entirely 'natural', either. It is a Divine process that is certainly already ongoing, and it is certain to play itself out to the end. But it will come about only through our efforts, our actions; if we do not act, there will be complications and obstacles. May we do our part with all our wisdom, strength, and courage, so that the final Redemption will come, to Jerusalem and all Israel, speedily in our time."

A year earlier, in a similar round-up of "right-wing, settlement commentaries" in August 2010, Arutz Sheva was cited twice. The first concerned the injustice of Jonathan Pollard's incarceration:

"If there was ever need for further proof of the injustice and disproportion in the indeterminate life sentences meted out to Jonathan Pollard, now, 25 years later, the most recent US spy case has once again brought this absurdity to the fore in full force. Ten Russian spies have recently been captured in the United States and all of them have been released as part of a bilateral deal."

The second Arutz Sheva citation that day exhorted Jews to promote Israel's cause more correctly and justly:

"If we are too shy to present our just cause, why wonder that the delegitimization campaign against Israel has been successful? The Palestinians have been arguing that we are colonialists who invaded their land and evicted them by force as part of an ethnic cleansing process, while we hoist our right-to-security banner... we are too bashful to discuss justice and rights, concealing the truth for some odd reason, disbelieving that the world will hear us out… Poet Natan Alterman noticed this already 40 years ago. In his last poem, written on his deathbed, he warned against the loss of our sense of justice. No enemy can defeat us, he wrote, but we may well bring ourselves down if we lose our faith in our own just cause."

Founded by Julian Assange in 2006, WikiLeaks says it "specializes in the analysis and publication of large datasets of censored or otherwise restricted official materials involving war, spying and corruption. It has so far published more than 10 million documents and associated analyses."

Since June 2012 Assange has found asylum from American and other warrants for his arrest in the embassy of Ecuador in London; if he leaves, he faces immediate extradition.




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