Yalla Peace: WikiLeaks reminds us of reality
By RAY HANANIA
12/07/2010 JERUSALEM POST
These dictators are concerned about all the things that kings and tyrants spend their time on: power, money and fun.
Israeli leaders have been holding secret meetings with the Arab governments since the 1947-49 war, from meetings with King Abdullah of Jordan, who was assassinated in 1951, to the wealthy dictator of Qatar, Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
None of this can give us comfort, though. In fact, WikiLeaks really confirms our worst fears. Everything we have always suspected about the Arab world is true.
Publicly, Arab leaders’ incendiary rhetoric against Israel preaches resistance and “steadfastness” to the Palestinians.
But privately, they set aside the venom and share tea and crumpets with the Israelis. They speak from both sides of their sheesha pipes, on the one hand blasting Israel for the public, on the other privately showing that they don’t believe a word they are telling said public Fascinating.
A real shocker might have been to read that an Arab leader told the Israelis in private what he says so often in public. But that would take courage – not a characteristic of Arab leaders.
Bombast and phoniness have been the way Arab dictators, monarchs, kings, queens (not in a generic sense) and tyrants conduct themselves in public, turning into spineless creatures of selfish pleasure in private.
WikiLeaks further “disclosed” that the Arabs fear Iran as much or perhaps more than Israel. Wow. Isn’t that why Saddam Hussein, when he was an American-funded dictator, led the failed war against Iran for 10 years? There didn’t need to be a document reporting that very few Arab leaders spend time schmoozing with Iran’s little dictator.
To the Arabs, a nuclear-armed Iran is more frightening than a nuclear-armed Israel.
In some ways, Arab governments are much like American administrations. Both will tolerate dictatorship as long as the dictators are their friends. In these cases, Arabs have high tolerance for themselves and each other.
WIKILEAKS ALSO shows the Arabs are not beyond their paranoia. Many are convinced that WikiLeaks is a Zionist plot to strengthen the Israeli drive to destroy Iran’s ayatollah-run nuclear-wielding government. You can read it in many of the columns now being published in the Arab media, especially those not under government control.
Of course, the theory is far more comforting to accept than the truth that Iran is a dictatorship that brutalizes its people.
Clearly, the WikiLeaks documents show that Arab world leaders are all talk and little action.
I was also really hoping for something more exciting from WikiLeaks, like the confirmation of many of the rumors I have heard over the years.
For example, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who you would think would love to curl his fingers around a juicy clump of lamb and rice mensiff, instead spoons chunks of matza and soup with the finesse of a British teetotaler.
Or, maybe that Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman isn’t really racist, but thinks that acting like he has a special bone to pick with Arabs makes him a tougherlooking government official.
Most disappointing is that in a massive leak of documents like this, there is usually some reference to a sexual or naughty nature.
You mean to tell me that none of the Arab dictators who met with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni offered to make her a part of their harems that they pretend no longer exist? I like her. I’d make her my fourth wife.
The writer is an award-winning columnist and Chicago radio talk show host. www.YallaPeace.com.