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Julian Assange is a dangerous criminal. This strange man with his long blond hair and misanthropic expression is not merely a cyberterrorist of a new kind. He is not merely a delusory anarchist humiliating the greatest power on earth. He is not merely an uninhibited megalomaniac disrupting modern diplomacy and undermining the world order. Assange is a dangerous criminal because he has shattered the accepted dogma on the understanding in the Middle East in the 21st century.

This dogma stated the following: The main problem in the Middle East is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The main problem in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the occupation. The main problem in the occupation is the settlements. Therefore if we just stop the settlements, the occupation will begin to end, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be solved and the Middle East will be stable.

In the last decade, this dogma became fixed and was sanctified. It became a kind of core belief that cannot be questioned. This was the truth they swore to in the White House, the Elysee Palace and 10 Downing Street. This was the truth they reported in The Washington Post, Le Monde and The Guardian. This was the truth that incorporated the supreme moral gravity that formed the worldview of enlightened elites in the West and directed the policies of the Western powers.

Then along came Assange and shattered the dogma. The secret documents that WikiLeaks published proved that the settlements, the occupation and even the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were not the main problem in the Middle East. The confidential e-mails proved that the world they were talking about in Washington, Paris and London was an imaginary world. Assange proved that there was no connection between the real Middle East and the Middle East they talk about in The Washington Post, Le Monde and The Guardian. He revealed that the entire Arab world is currently busy with one problem only - Iran, Iran, Iran.

There is no doubt about it - Assange is a dangerous criminal. But he is dangerous not because he penetrated the Pentagon's information systems but because he revealed the Western intelligentsia's lack of intellectual integrity. Assange is dangerous not because he leaked state secrets on an unprecedented scale but because he revealed to us all that the West's hegemonic discourse is superficial and mendacious. Assange is dangerous not because he embarrassed the West's allies but because he proved that the West is contaminated by political correctness that cuts it off from the diplomatic reality. Assange placed a giant mirror in front of us all and proved the extent to which we had been duped in recent decades. A false dogma has prevented us from looking logically at the historic challenge facing us.

But let's not confuse things. The settlements are indeed a disaster. The occupation is intolerable. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dangerous. But now that the blond misanthrope has opened our eyes, we must no longer shut them. The confidential e-mails must be read and reread so they can be understood. There is no chance for the current diplomatic process, they say. There is no chance of signing an Israeli-Palestinian agreement as long as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is living under the menacing shadow of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There is no chance of regional peace as long as the Arab world is living under Tehran's incessant threat.

After all, just as the Egyptian president, the Saudi king and the Gulf emirs whisper, Iran is the heart of the problem. Iran is the source of the poison and the source of the consternation. As long as Iran is growing stronger, is seeking nuclear weapons and is terrorizing the Middle East, there is no chance for peace.

The lesson is a bitter one. If Iran develops nuclear weapons, peace will disappear. A nuclear Iran will deal a final blow to the chance of achieving a compromise between Israelis and Arabs. Therefore the dove of peace has to be extremely hawkish toward Iran. The peace-seeker must deal with Iran.

The opposite is also true. Anyone who wants to appease Ahmadinejad is betraying peace. Anyone who takes a lenient view of the ayatollahs is abandoning Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Abu Mazen. It's true that a moratorium on the settlements will help in the struggle against the centrifuges. But only such a moratorium will make it possible to dismantle the settlements. When we rise from the ruins of the dogma, the strategic order of things is utterly clear - Iran first.