- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Cable reveals Bahrain’s secret contact with Israel
Link with Jewish state touchy issue in Arab world
Question of the Day
The cable reportedly was sent to Washington from the U.S. Embassy in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, after a Feb. 15, 2005, meeting between then-U.S. Ambassador William Monroe and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
“[The king] revealed that Bahrain already has contacts with Israel at the intelligence/security level (ie with Mossad) and indicated that Bahrain will be willing to move forward in other areas,” the cable said.
The king also told the ambassador that he had ordered his public information minister to stop calling Israel the “enemy” or the “Zionist entity” in official statements of the kingdom, said the cable, which was released by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
The Israeli newspapers Haaretz and Yedioth Ahronoth recently published reports based on the cable.
The cable’s revelation comes at a delicate time for Bahrain’s Sunni royal family, which invited troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states last month to help quell an uprising by the country’s Shiite majority.
“In the Arab world, they hate this sort of thing and in Bahrain I’m sure it will be yet another sin [for the opposition] to beat the government with,” said Simon Henderson, a Gulf anaylst for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
“It will also not be particularly welcomed by supporters of the government, even though they might half understand that to counter Iran, the government needs to deal with a whole variety of people,” he said.
Bahraini officials could not be reached for comment.
Adel al-Moawda, second deputy chairman of Bahrain’s Representative Council, also speculated that the cable might have resulted from confusion: “We know some Americans are Jews and maybe they are in the secret police in America — people might consider them as part of the Mossad — so information can get scattered here and there.”
Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab states that have formal diplomatic ties with Israel.
But according to cables previously released by WikiLeaks, Israel has maintained covert ties with several Arab states — particularly those in the Persian Gulf, like Bahrain, that fear Iran’s spreading influence.
“Hadas said the Gulf Arabs believe in Israel’s role because of their perception of Israel’s close relationship with the U.S. but also due to their sense that they can count on Israel against Iran. ‘They believe Israel can work magic,’ Hadas commented,” the cable says.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Birnbaum is a reporter covering foreign affairs for The Washington Times. Prior to joining The Times, Birnbaum worked as a reporter-researcher at the New Republic. A Boston-area native, he graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University with a degree in government and psychology. He won multiple collegiate journalism awards for his articles and columns in the Cornell Daily Sun.
TWT Video Picks
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- Tony Dungy doubles down on Michael Sam remarks: 'Drafting him would bring much distraction'
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
- Hamas terrorists wear Israeli army uniforms to ambush soldiers in Gaza
- YOUNG: A sinking presidency, deeper after November?
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- Rick Perry: County jails in Texas have taken in 203,000 "criminal aliens"
- Rep. Jared Polis' anti-fracking crusade riles Colorado
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq