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09.15.11

Cablegate: Bill Gates Belittles the World

Posted in Bill Gates, Cablegate at 5:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cablegate

Summary: A “C O N F I D E N T I A L” Cablegate cable contains a controversial statement from Bill Gates

“Olmert [...] said that Bill Gates had told him that all real technical innovations in today’s world originate in either the U.S. or Israel.”

Is this really the simplistic way Bill Gates perceives the world? The same Gates who bashed Europe as the source of wars? Surely a lot of people would beg to differ. Here is the cable in question:



C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TEL AVIV 001470 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/12/2016 
TAGS: PREL [External Political Relations], PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], 
PTER [Terrorists and Terrorism], PARM [Arms Controls and Disarmament], 
KPAL [Palestinian Affairs], KWBG [West Bank and Gaza], IR [Iran], 
IS [Israel], U.S.-ISRAEL RELATIONS, ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS 
SUBJECT: SENATOR LIEBERMAN AND ISRAELI A/PM OLMERT DISCUSS 
THE CONVERGENCE PLAN 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard H. Jones; Reasons: 1.4 (B and D). 
 
¶1. (C) Summary: On April 11 -- the day that the Cabinet 
elected him Acting Prime Minister -- a confident and relaxed 
Ehud Olmert met with Senator Joseph Lieberman and the 
Ambassador.  Olmert outlined his "convergence plan," with 
which he hopes to create defensible security borders, 
minimize Israeli-Palestinian contact, relocate 80,000 
settlers, and separate Israelis from 95 percent of the 
Palestinians and 90 percent of the West Bank within the next 
four years.  Olmert expressed hope that his plan to set 
Israel's borders will be coordinated with and supported by 
the United States.  He maintained that such steps will be 
necessary due to a lack of a Palestinian partner needed to 
make progress on the Roadmap.  On other issues, Olmert 1) 
stressed the need for tough UN sanctions against Iran, 2) 
analyzed the outcome of the Knesset elections, 3) expressed 
his intention to form a new government including parties from 
across the political spectrum by the end of the month, and 4) 
presented a rosy picture of the Israeli economy.  Senator 
Lieberman's legislative assistant Frederick Downey and 
military escort LTC Edward Fortunato, as well as GOI foreign 
affairs adviser Shalom Tourgeman, PM military aide MG Gadi 
Shamni, and MFA Congressional liaison Eyal Sela also 
participated in the meeting.  End summary. 
 
------------------------------------- 
Olmert Discusses the Convergence Plan 
------------------------------------- 
 
¶2. (C) After expressing admiration for the manner in which 
Olmert has handled the difficult period following PM Sharon's 
illness and welcoming his upcoming visit to Washington, 
Senator Lieberman asked Olmert about his "convergence" plan 
to relocate settlers from isolated parts of the West Bank 
into settlement blocs.  In Olmert's assessment, Israel 
"cannot live with the Palestinians more or less as we live 
now" and avoid the outbreak of another Intifada.  Although he 
saw the Roadmap (negotiations) as the best way forward, with 
no Palestinian partners his answer is to set "defensible 
security borders" that minimize Israeli-Palestinian contact, 
and separate Israelis from 95 percent of Palestinians who 
will be left with 90 percent of the West Bank.  Such a step 
entails the relocation of 80,000 settlers from isolated areas 
to existing or newly built sections in the major settlement 
blocs. 
 
¶3. (C) Olmert described his timeline as two years to try 
negotiations, plan, prepare, and consult with the USG, 
followed by two years to implement the move of the settlers. 
He termed the effort a "huge, major, dramatic undertaking ... 
unprecedented in the State of Israel," cautioning that its 
scale and Israel's emotional attachment to what it calls 
"Judea and Samaria" would result in much controversy. 
Senator Lieberman called the plan achievable and courageous. 
 
------------------------------- 
Olmert's Views of the U.S. Role 
------------------------------- 
 
¶4. (C) Olmert repeatedly stressed that he hopes to carry out 
convergence with the full understanding and support of the 
United States.  He claimed that the plan is consistent with 
the President's letter of April 14, 2004.  Senator Lieberman 
sought clarification of what this support might entail.  As a 
start, Olmert urged Congress to pass legislation prohibiting 
assistance to Hamas in order to send a clear message that 
there will be no assistance without a change in Hamas policy. 
 Senator Lieberman replied that both the USG and EU were 
moving in the right direction on the assistance issue. 
 
¶5. (C) Olmert also expressed a desire that consultations with 
Washington will result "in an agreement with the United 
States that these (the convergence borders) are the final 
lines."  He expected that the USG will assist Israel in 
obtaining European acceptance for the border, a possibility 
he said was more likely with leaders such as German 
Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Olmert repeatedly praised 
President Bush, saying that he believes that the President's 
commitment to fight terror is a moral -- and not just a 
political -- decision.  "In the end of the day," added 
Olmert, "this is what brings us closer together as nations, 
as people, and as leaders." 
 
¶6. (C) Olmert claimed that convergence would also realize a 
Palestinian dream by creating a contiguous area free of 
Israelis -- except for moves by security forces as needed -- 
as a basis for a Palestinian state.  He cautioned that 
conflicts with the Palestinians would continue at a lower 
level until they realize that a return to the 1967 borders 
"will never happen" and are prepared for a permanent peace. 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
Gaza-West Bank Link and Palestinian Employment 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
¶7. (C) Senator Lieberman asked about links between Gaza and 
the West Bank, as well as about the future of Palestinian 
workers in Israel.  Olmert suggested that Israel has several 
ideas for a Gaza-West Bank link, but would not offer them 
without receiving concrete concessions in return.  He said 
that the frequent closings of crossing points make it 
impractical for the 25,000 Palestinians currently employed in 
Israel to retain their jobs, adding that he preferred in 
principle that they work in the Palestinian areas.  He 
suggested options such as industrial parks located along the 
barrier route, but acknowledged that this idea is also 
impractical without partners on the Palestinian side. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
Lack of Roadmap Partner Makes Convergence Necessary 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
¶8. (C) Olmert called the Roadmap a reasonable framework for 
resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but lamented the 
lack of a Palestinian partner.  He assessed the chances of 
the Palestinians taking necessary steps to restart 
negotiations as "nonexistent" and questioned their ability to 
do so even if Hamas collapses.  He complained that President 
Mahmud Abbas remains reluctant to take concrete action, 
noting that he had spoken with Abbas by phone a few days 
earlier.  When asked by Senator Lieberman what steps Abbas 
could take, Olmert replied he should disarm the terrorist 
organizations.  Olmert suggested that the USG and GOI might 
agree on benchmarks that the Palestinians must meet to avoid 
unilateral Israeli moves, but added that there is "no use 
waiting forever."  He expressed a clear intention to proceed 
with the convergence plan during the term of the current U.S. 
administration. 
 
¶9. (C) Olmert noted that the Israeli Cabinet had earlier in 
the day decided to boycott the PA's "terrorist government." 
He added that Abbas would be treated separately as the 
elected President; Tourgeman later told the Ambassador that 
Abbas would be excluded from the boycott of the PA but that 
GOI officials would not meet with him as they had nothing to 
discuss.  Tourgeman noted that the exception for Abbas was 
personal rather than for the Presidency as an organization. 
The GOI could not exclude the possibility that some of the 
Presidency's employees might have contact with Hamas. 
 
------------------------------- 
Iran: Olmert Urges UN Sanctions 
------------------------------- 
 
¶10. (C) Senator Lieberman requested Olmert's views on the 
Iranian nuclear program.  Olmert called Russian and French 
ideas on joint enrichment "a surrender to Iranian 
aggression."  He urged the USG to take a "much more 
aggressive position in the United Nations," claiming that 
effective sanctions are the only opportunity to stop Iran 
short of military action.  Stressing that Iran is an 
international -- not just an Israeli -- problem, Olmert said 
he intends to raise the issue with the President in 
Washington. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
Olmert Seeks Broad Domestic Coalition by End of April 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
 
¶11. (C) Senator Lieberman asked Olmert to analyze the outcome 
of the Knesset elections.  Olmert said that voters had sent 
two clear messages: 1) they were opposed to the policies and 
personalities of Likud, while at the same time distrustful of 
Labor's ability to lead; and 2) they wanted Kadima to win, 
but with a limited mandate to keep the party from becoming 
"too ambitious."  Olmert claimed that Likud leader Bibi 
Netanyahu was harmed by his right-wing views and by what 
Olmert described as the irresponsible manner in which he had 
split with PM Sharon.  At the same time, Labor had lost seats 
despite the collapse of Likud and Kadima's last-minute 
formation.  He attributed Kadima's smaller-than-expected 
victory to pre-election polling, which led some voters to 
switch to the pensioners party to help it over the threshold 
for entry into the Knesset without affecting Kadima's 
expected majority. 
 
¶12. (C) Olmert claimed that he is not personally involved in 
the details of coalition negotiations, which are being 
handled by his advisers.  He predicted "the usual bargains" 
during coalition talks, adding that he wants parties from 
both sides of the political spectrum in his coalition.  His 
goal is to avoid over-reliance on either Labor or the 
right-wing parties.  Nevertheless, Olmert stressed the 
important role that a right-wing party or parties could play 
for the coalition in reducing anxiety over the convergence 
plan and building bridges to the settlers.  He expressed his 
intention to form the new government by the end of April and 
have it functioning in early May. 
 
-------------------------------- 
Rosy Outlook for Israeli Economy 
-------------------------------- 
 
¶13. (C) Olmert presented a glowing assessment of the Israeli 
economy, predicting growth of 4.3 percent this year and a 
reduction in the unemployment rate from current levels of 8.8 
or 8.9 percent.  He gave former Finance Minister Netanyahu 
credit for adopting policies to facilitate growth, but 
claimed that his hubris and doctrinaire belief in free 
markets had blinded him to the need to provide relief for 
under-privileged members of society.  Olmert also gave credit 
to PM Sharon for creating an "environment of good-will to 
Israel and confidence," making the country a more secure 
location for business.  Olmert proudly noted that Intel, 
Microsoft, and IBM have all invested recently in Israel and 
said that Bill Gates had told him that all real technical 
innovations in today's world originate in either the U.S. or 
Israel. 
 
¶14. (U) This cable was cleared by Senator Lieberman. 
 
********************************************* ******************** 
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website: 

http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv

You can also access this site through the State Department's 
Classified SIPRNET website. 
********************************************* ******************** 
JONES

On we go with Cablegate research. This one was a sensitive one.

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7 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    September 15, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Gravatar

    This from the same man that proclaimed that the Internet is just a passing fad.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Even in the mid-nineties.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Worse, I would run into people sagely repeating these pearls of wisdom even at the Q4 of 1999.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Some people weigh knowledge by wealth.

    twitter Reply:

    Arrogance is the only thing we can be sure of. We know the cables distort reality. Olmert is probably a liar, so we can’t be sure Bill Gates said such a thing. Bill Gates is not sincere, so we can’t be sure he believed it if he said it. He probably says similar things in China or wherever he happens to be rubbing shoulders with mass murder.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Earlier today I found this: “Bavaria may be the “high tech Mecca,” according to Bill Gates, but there has been little public backlash against the CSU’s anti-GMO positioning.” In context:

    
    
    VZCZCXRO3570
    PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHYG
    DE RUEHMZ #0090/01 1201544
    ZNR UUUUU ZZH
    P 301544Z APR 09
    FM AMCONSUL MUNICH
    TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4748
    RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
    RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
    RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
    RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
    RUCNMEU/EU INTEREST COLLECTIVE
    RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
    
    UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MUNICH 000090 
     
    USDA FOR FAS/OCRA/PORTER, FAS/OCRA/JONES, FAS/OSTA/NENON 
    STATE FOR OES/ENV 
    STATE PLEASE PASS USTR FOR JMURPHY, MCLARKSON 
     
    SENSITIVE 
    SIPDIS 
     
    E.O. 12958: N/A 
    TAGS: ECON [Economic Conditions], 
    PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], 
    EAGR [Agriculture and Forestry], 
    ETRD [Foreign Trade], 
    TBIO [Biological and Medical Science], GM [Germany] 
    SUBJECT: BAVARIAN CSU FLIRTS WITH BECOMING A CONSERVATIVE GREEN 
    PARTY 
     
    REF: BERLIN 447 
     
    SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED.  PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY. 
     
    ------- 
    SUMMARY 
    ------- 
     
    ¶1.  In his first election test as leader of Bavaria's Christian 
    Social Union (CSU) and in a bid to win back the CSU base or to 
    attract new voters, Minister President Horst Seehofer has reversed 
    earlier positions and come out strictly opposed to genetically 
    engineered organisms. Although he is now accused of populist 
    opportunism for jumping late on the band wagon, he hopes this will 
    improve CSU chances in the elections to the European Parliament on 
    June 7 and German Bundestag on September 27, a success the CSU needs 
    to survive as an influential regional party.  It seems that the CSU 
    leadership has calculated that losing support from the friends of 
    the biotech in Bavaria is outweighed by possible gains from among 
    emotional opponents to agricultural biotechnology.  The political 
    leadership ignores science arguments that support biotechnology. 
    The CSU's focus right now is clearly on Bavaria and on Bavaria 
    alone.  Seehofer's team believes that rejection of genetically 
    modified foodstuffs, as well as stem cell research and patents on 
    animal breeding, reflect the will of the majority.  These positions 
    have put the party at odds with Bavaria's world-class research 
    community, with the coalition partner Christian Democratic Union 
    (CDU), and with American business. End Summary. 
     
    --------------------------- 
    CSU Loses Farmers' Support 
    --------------------------- 
     
    ¶2.  Until recently, up to ninety percent of Bavarian farmers were 
    loyal CSU supporters. Whether out of habit or conviction became less 
    clear in the last years, we have been told repeatedly.  This changed 
    in the 2008 state elections, where 50 percent of them deserted to 
    the Independents led by Hubert Aiwanger, himself a farmer.  A recent 
    poll by Infratest of 500 farmers revealed that the CSU could further 
    lose its farming base, with only 23 percent of farmers polled saying 
    they would vote for the CSU in upcoming elections.  Almost as many 
    would vote for the Independents.  Analysts agree that these losses 
    cannot be attributed to the early CSU support for green technology 
    but rather to a long-growing sense that the old CSU has run its 
    course.  Farmers are also angry about the very low wholesale price 
    of milk, for which the CSU may also be blamed. 
     
    --------------------------------------------- ------ 
    Agriculture Minister Aigner Caught in the Crossfire 
    --------------------------------------------- ------ 
     
    ¶3.  Aigner, one of the new young CSU faces, has flip-flopped over 
    gene technology issues as the election campaign heats up.  She 
    succumbed to Seehofer's political pressure and on April 14 banned 
    the sowing of MON810, Monsanto's genetically engineered corn (a move 
    since challenged by Monsanto in court, reftel). She was quoted as 
    saying the decision "gave her a stomach ache," and this may be 
    because she is a former Eurocopter engineer who understands the 
    scientific approach better than the populist one.  Aigner said the 
    decision was not "against green technology in general," but CSU 
    party colleague and Bavarian Environment Minister, Markus Soeder, 
    has, like Seehofer, urged prohibitions on all genetically modified 
    plants.  Aigner also recently opposed a European patent application 
    for a test to check pigs for a gene that makes them produce more 
    meat.  Taking a different tack on April 27, Aigner resisted party 
    pressure and permitted limited trials of the "Amflora" potato 
    developed by BASF.  She said she did so after speaking with the 
    experts and business people.  Seehofer "accepted" Aigner's decision 
    but Soeder expressed his disappointment, commenting that this sent 
    the wrong signal. 
     
    --------------------------------------------- - 
    Can Bavaria be a Zone Free of Gene Technology? 
    --------------------------------------------- - 
     
    ¶4.  Some of the most rabid opponents to GMOs in Bavaria are farmers 
    in the Franconia region, near Wurzburg, where approved field trials 
    are ongoing.  Another problem is the Rosenheim area, close to 
    Aigner's own constituency, at the center of the CSU's Upper Bavarian 
    heartland.  Here, an alliance by the name of "Civil Courage" has 
    focused on the fight against GMOs, attracting an ever growing number 
     
    MUNICH 00000090  002 OF 002 
     
     
    of determined supporters, reportedly 31,000 so far.  The alliance 
    has been able to mobilize traditional CSU voters, as they can be 
    found in folklore groups ("Trachtenvereine"), shooting clubs, and 
    Catholic communities, all of which emphasize the "integrity of 
    creation."  Commentators note that the CSU is coming "late to the 
    party" and may not win many points by adopting the anti-technology 
    approach now.  It also might not help them with the CDU.  Federal 
    Research Minister Annette Schavan (CDU) openly supports "green 
    technology."  At a recent hearing on plant biotechnology, 
    parliamentarians of the CDU and FDP adamantly opposed the ban of 
    MON810 and requested political support for the technology.  However, 
    Chancellor Merkel has not taken position on this topic. 
     
    --------------------------------------------- ---- 
    Scientists Fret over Bavaria's Lost Opportunities 
    --------------------------------------------- ---- 
     
    ¶5.  Bavaria may be the "high tech Mecca," according to Bill Gates, 
    but there has been little public backlash against the CSU's anti-GMO 
    positioning.  Leaders such as Science Minister Heubisch (FDP) or 
    Munich Technical University President Wolfgang Herrmann have warned 
    recently that "Bavaria could voluntarily forego a great chance to 
    excel in a field where it was steadily building world-class 
    expertise."  Other political parties long opposed to genetic 
    engineering have accused the CSU of populist opportunism in a hard 
    election year.  The SPD, the Greens and the Independents support a 
    total ban of GMOs in Germany.  The chairman of the Independent 
    Voters, Hubert Aiwanger, welcomed Aigner's ban of MON810 as 
    "overdue" and called for halting field trials. The newly-elected 
    chairperson of the Bavarian Young Socialists, Marietta Eder (SPD), 
    who comes from Lower Franconia where most of the field trials are, 
    adamantly rejects "green gene technology."  Even the Bavarian FDP 
    welcomed the ban, concluding that "politics had to take the concerns 
    of the people seriously." 
     
    ------- 
    COMMENT 
    ------- 
     
    ¶6.  (SBU) The CSU is looking for traction by attacking genetic 
    engineering, a reversal from earlier positions.  They are coming 
    late to the issue, so there is a question whether the CSU can hold 
    on to or win new voters by doing something that other major parties 
    already can claim.  Our CSU contacts have privately confirmed that 
    Seehofer's fierce anti-GMO stance is coming from apocalyptic fears 
    of an election disaster on June 7, which in the worst case could 
    lead to the CSU falling out of the European Parliament and to his 
    being discredited as CSU leader.  With the Independents taking part 
    in the EU elections, disenchanted farmers have a strong alternative 
    to the CSU.  This, combined with an election falling during a 
    holiday and low voter interest, could make it hard for the CSU to 
    reach the five percent Germany-wide threshold it needs to get into 
    the EU Parliament.  CSU contacts told us that despite some 
    misgivings about its new course, the CSU feels it has no other 
    choice but to do what the presumed majority of the people want, be 
    it a clear rejection of GMOs, of nuclear power (which the CSU 
    resists but carefully avoids to speak out on at this point), or stem 
    cell research that alienates its Catholic followers. 
     
    ¶7.  (U) Consulate General Munich coordinated this report with 
    Embassy Berlin and with the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). 
     
    ¶8.  (U) Track Munich reporting at 
    http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Germ any. 
     
    TRAUB
    
    

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    I’d second what Twitter said about the relevance of Gates utterances.

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