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Viewing cable 09TELAVIV654, ISRAEL'S RELATIONS WITH THE GULF STATES FOCUS ON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TELAVIV654 2009-03-19 14:02 2010-11-28 18:06 SECRET Embassy Tel Aviv
VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #0654/01 0781437
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 191437Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1038
INFO RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 5175
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 5680
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0150
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 3724
RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA PRIORITY 0904
RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT PRIORITY 0651
RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA PRIORITY 0930
RUEHMS/AMEMBASSY MUSCAT PRIORITY 0001
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 2225
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 1690
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
S E C R E T TEL AVIV 000654 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/19/2019 
TAGS: PREL PTER PGOV KWBG IR IS
SUBJECT: ISRAEL'S RELATIONS WITH THE GULF STATES FOCUS ON 
IRAN, PERCEPTION OF ISRAELI INFLUENCE IN WASHINGTON 
 
REF: TEL AVIV 605 
 
Classified By: DCM Luis G. Moreno, Reason 1.4 (b) (d) 
 
1.  (S) Summary.  MFA Deputy Director General for the Middle 
East Yacov Hadas provided PolCouns March 16 with an overview 
of Israel's relations with several of the Gulf states.  Hadas 
described Israel's relations with the Gulf as a function of 
the Gulf Arabs' fear of Iran, but also as due to the Arabs' 
belief in Israeli influence in Washington.  Fleshing out some 
of the points he had made earlier to NEA Acting A/S Feltman 
(reftel), Hadas described Qatar's shift toward the radical 
camp in the region as a "game" linked to Qatari rivalry with 
Saudi Arabia.  Hadas believes Qatar is feeling pressure from 
Israel, Egypt and the Saudis, adding that he has been invited 
to visit Doha for talks about how to resume normal 
Qatari-Israeli ties.  Hadas noted that while the Omanis are 
generally correct in their dealings with Israel, they appear 
not to recognize the seriousness of the threat from Iran.  He 
said that while the UAE is increasingly hostile to Iran, it 
remains unclear how far they are willing to go in terms of 
increasing financial pressures on Tehran.  Hadas said the 
Gulf Arabs feel that the U.S. does not listen to them and 
therefore sometimes try to pass messages through Israel. 
While he agreed that progress on the Palestinian track would 
make it easier for the Gulf states to be open about their 
ties to Israel, he cautioned that the Gulf states use the 
peace process as an "excuse not to take action" against Iran 
or in support of the PA.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C) PolCouns called on Deputy Director General for the 
Middle East Yacov Hadas March 16 to follow up on Hadas' March 
4 discussion with Acting A/S Feltman of Israeli-Gulf 
relations.  Beginning with Qatar, Hadas said there were signs 
that various pressures on the Qataris were starting to have 
an effect.  Hadas noted that Qatar could only get its 
humanitarian relief supplies into Gaza through Israel. 
Qatari diplomats assigned to their Gaza consulate also had to 
cross through Israel since Egypt would not allow them to 
enter Gaza from Rafah.  For now, the Israelis are not 
allowing either Qatari assistance or personnel to cross into 
Gaza.  Hadas noted that he had been invited to visit Doha to 
discuss reopening the Israeli trade office, which he saw as a 
positive sign.  He added that the Qataris needed to 
understand that they could not expect to restore cooperative 
relations with Israel without agreeing to reopen the trade 
office. 
 
3.  (S) While Hadas was critical of the Qataris' treatment of 
Israel since the Gaza operation, he stressed that he thought 
Qatar's policies were not a matter of a shift in ideology 
toward the radical camp, but linked to their rivalry with the 
Saudis and, by extension, with Egypt.  In private settings, 
Hadas noted that the Qatari leadership harbored "no 
illusions" about Iran.  Prince Hamad had told the Israelis in 
October 2006 that he believed Iran was determined to develop 
a nuclear bomb no matter the cost.  According to Hadas, Hamad 
complained at the time that he felt the U.S. would not listen 
to him and tended to believe what it heard from Iran. 
 
4.  (S) Hadas reiterated the point he had made to Feltman 
regarding Oman, calling the Omanis the "most problematic" of 
the Gulf states in terms of their view of Iran.  With regard 
to Omani contacts with Israel, Hadas said they were 
"correct," but the Omanis never fulfilled their commitment to 
open an Israeli office in Muscat.  He said Oman has "its own 
definition" of what poses a threat to the Gulf, partly due to 
Oman's geographical location.  He did not think Oman would be 
willing to join the rest of the GCC against Iran. 
 
5.  (S) Hadas agreed that the UAE was increasingly hostile to 
Iran, but there remained a question as to how far they were 
prepared to go.  The UAE has extensive trade and financial 
relations with Iran, including money laundering, and it was 
unclear whether they were ready to use these relations as 
leverage.  Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdallah has developed 
good personal relations with Foreign Minister Livni, but the 
Emiratis are "not ready to do publicly what they say in 
private."  (Note:  It was clear from Hadas' remarks that 
Israel's channel to Saudi Arabia does not run through the 
Foreign Ministry.) 
 
 
6.  (S) 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.  When considering a trilateral 
U.S.-Israel-GCC partnership, Hadas suggested we bear in mind 
that Iran's nuclear program is the primary source of concern 
to the U.S. and Israel, while the Gulf Arabs also worry about 
Iran for a host of historic and sectarian reasons. 
 
7.  (C) PolCouns noted that Arabs say that progress on the 
Palestinian track would make it easier for them to publicly 
engage Israel.  Hadas countered that while peace with the 
Palestinians is an Israeli interest and important in its own 
right, it should not be the sum total of Israel's relations 
with the Arab World.  Arab League Secretary General Amre 
Moussa had invented the "never-ending hurdle race" in which 
Israel could never do enough to deserve a positive response. 
The Israeli-Palestinian track should not serve as an excuse 
for the Gulf to avoid action, whether against Iran or through 
practical steps to support the Palestinian Authority. 
 
 
 
********************************************* ******************** 
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv 
********************************************* ******************** 
CUNNINGHAM