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The recent disclosures by Wikileaks prove that the Obama Administration, and its water carrier J Street, were dead wrong in repeatedly asserting that the only way to get Arab support for tough policies toward Iran’s nuclear weapons program is for Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank. There are good reasons for Israel to reach an agreement with the Palestinians leading to a two state solution, but garnering Arab support against Iran is not one of them. The Wikileaks proved beyond any doubt that Israel’s Arab neighbors have a strong, independent basis for wanting to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons power.
The recently released cables establish that Saudi Arabia was pushing the United States to bomb Iranian nuclear sites; these cables never mentioned the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Nor were the Saudis alone in calling for the United States to cut off the “head of the snake.” Other Arab nations were banging the drum for a military attack as well. Indeed there is evidence that the Saudis and Israelis—who have no diplomatic relations—have discussed military options against their common enemy.
Ever since the Obama Administration tried to put pressure on Israel by linking the end of the occupation to Iran, I have pointed out the absurdity of this linkage. But General David Petraeus, Secretary of State Robert Gates and Vice President Joe Biden have all insisted that the continuing occupation has made Arab states less willing to cooperate with the United States in preventing Iran from developing nuclear bombs. This party line view has been parroted, as usual, by various representatives of J Street.
Not only has this linkage never been true, but we now know that the Obama Administration has long been aware that the Arabs states are as anxious as Israel about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. This information was contained in diplomatic cables that date back months, if not years. Why then would the Obama Administration deliberately mislead the public in regard so important a matter? The same question must be asked of the Bush Administration, which also mislead the public when it came to Iran by releasing the National Security Estimate in November 2007 that falsely concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program.
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