Obama’s visit to Israel and Jordan has brought joy to no one but the Israelis. The US president practically swore an oath of fealty to Israel, speaking not just as a friend and faithful ally, not as a head of state, but as a humble subordinate.
He waxed lyrical on Israel as a land of dreams, then advised the Palestinians to ignore the settlements being built on their land and issued stern warnings to Syria, Iran and Hizbullah.
So eager was Obama to court the Israelis that he suddenly started calling Netanyahu — the very man who supported his rival, Mitt Romney, in the elections — “Bibi”. Tensions between the US president and the Israeli prime minister seemed to evaporate as Obama wandered from one Biblical reference to another while praising Israel for its “shining future”.
Dressed in the colours of the Israeli flag, a blue tie over a white shirt, Obama spared the Israelis no compliment, saying that it was his honour to visit them on Israel’s 65th “independence day”.
“It is good to be in this land,” Obama said in Hebrew, before applauding Israel for being the land of kibbutz that made the desert bloom. His rhetoric was reminiscent of that of a century ago, when the promise of a “land without a people for a people without a land,” launched decades of Palestinian suffering.
Obama didn’t neglect to remind his listeners that he had introduced Passover as a White House celebration.
“After enjoying Seders [Passover] with family and friends in Chicago and on the campaign trail, I’m proud that I’ve now brought this tradition into the White House. I did so because I wanted my daughters to experience the Haggadah and the story at the centre of Passover that makes this time of year so powerful.”
After mentioning the long history of the Jewish people and their years in exile, the sad memories of the Jewish holocaust, Obama showered the Israelis with praise for their many successes.
Then, he lashed out at Iran. Iran’s nuclear programme, he said, is “not simply a challenge for Israel. It is a danger to the entire world, including the United States. A nuclear-armed Iran would raise the risk of nuclear terrorism. It would undermine the non-proliferation regime,” he stated.
Reiterating US commitment to Israeli security, Obama made a pledge: “The security of the Jewish people in Israel is so important. It cannot be taken for granted. But make no mistake. Those who adhere to the ideology of rejecting Israel’s right to exist, they might as well reject the earth beneath them and the sky above, because Israel is not going anywhere.”
The Israeli website Walla! pointed out that in his speech, the US president mentioned the word “Israel” 82 times and the word “Palestinian” only 21 times.
Obama also visited the tombs of Herzl and Rabin, then the Yad Vashaem Holocaust Memorial. But he declined to visit the tomb of Yasser Arafat. And he refused to meet the daughter of one of the political prisoners held in Israel’s detention camps.
The whole thing seemed as if the US president was telling the Palestinians and Arabs, “This is the land of the Jews; so go look for your land elsewhere!”
Now the writing is on the wall. Those who had taken the US president for a moderate should take note.
- Israel admits: Just 0.7% of West Bank allocated to Palestinians (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Obama’s Peace Antics in Israel – Four More Years of This? (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Merida – Vice-president Nicolas Maduro today denounced destabilisation plans by the international and Venezuelan right wing, announcing the expulsion of two US officials for threatening military security. He also implied that Chavez’s cancer was “caused by enemies of Venezuela”.
Right-wing destabilisation plans
Maduro made the announcement today just after midday, following a meeting this morning with Venezuela’s political military leadership.
Maduro pronounced the expulsion of diplomat David del Monaco, and Air Attaché Deblin Costal of the US embassy in Caracas for being implicated in “conspiracy plans”.
“They have 24 hours to pack their bags and leave,” Maduro said.
He explained that Monaco had, for the last few weeks, been contacting members of the Venezuelan military in order to bring about a destabilisation plan in Venezuela.
“This official has been given the task of looking for active military members in Venezuela in order to propose destabilisation projects to the Armed Forces.”
“We want to denounce that we have certain clues of elements that make up this poisonous picture, which seek to disrupt the social life of our country and give it a beating,” he added.
“The enemies of the country, who aim to destroy democracy, have decided to go ahead with plans to destabilise Venezuela and damage the crux of a democracy…they have intensified the attacks against the economy and against goods and services,” Maduro said, referring to the scarcity of certain food and hygiene products that the country is currently experiencing.
Maduro argued that the “national and international right wing” were taking advantage of the “difficult circumstances” Venezuela is going through as a result of the “delicate state of health of President Chavez”.
Doubt over the cause of Chavez’s cancer
Further, he said, “We don’t have any doubts that the historical enemies of the country have searched for a way to damage the health of President Chavez… that he was attacked with this illness,” alluding to the possibility of a “scientific attack”.
“Just like what happened to Yasser Arafat… Eventually there will be a scientific investigation into President Chavez’s illness,” he said.
There are different theories as to the cause of the former President of the Palestinian National Authority, Yasser Arafat’s death in 2004. Last July Al Jazeera reported that traces of polonium-210, a rare and highly radioactive element, were found on Arafat’s belongings.
Other experts however claimed that polonium’s half life means it would be impossible to discover it now if it had been used for poisoning eight years ago, and that it must have been planted later. In 2005 the Palestinian ambassador to Sri Lanka, Attalah Quiba also alleged that Arafat had been poisoned by “high technology” such as a “high-tech laser”.
Continue fighting and working
Maduro concluded his public announcement by saying, “Men and women loyal to Chavez, we’re going to continue with our duties, so that no single program for the people is held back”.
“Venezuela’s political and military leadership is united, we call on the people to close ranks, to unite forces, and to pray for our comandante,” he said.
Referring to mainstream media lies and distortions about Chavez’s health and the situation in Venezuela, Maduro also expressed his appreciation to Venezuela for its “strength that there has been to face the psychological and dirty war against our people”.
The vice-president called for “respect for Chavez, for his family in these difficult times, respect for the pain and worry of our people”.
Intelligence agencies routinely gather medical intelligence on the world’s political leaders. Officially, this information is used to ascertain the viability for continuation in office for leaders. However, there is a dark side to such intelligence collection.
Medical intelligence also contains data on the status of a leader’s immune system and his or her susceptibility to a number of diseases or other external health threats. Such information can be useful in devising “natural” assassination weapons, such as cancer, radiation poisoning, and food poisoning.
The collection of information on medical factors is known as “medical intelligence.” MEDINT, as it is also known, is defined by the US Department of Defense as “That category of intelligence resulting from collection, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of foreign medical, bio-scientific, and environmental information that is of interest to strategic planning and to military medical planning and operations for the conservation of the fighting strength of friendly forces and the formation of assessments of foreign medical capabilities in both military and civilian sectors.”
Intelligence agencies take MEDINT one step further. The Central Intelligence Agency and Israel’s Mossad, in particular, use MEDINT to analyze the medical conditions of foreign leaders, as well as their treatment regimen and schedules, to determine the best methods for administering toxic doses of medicines, pathogens, or other deadly agents to cause death, in other words, medical assassination.
Eight years after his death, the body of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat is to be exhumed. After researchers at a Swiss institute discovered high levels of radioactive polonium on Arafat’s clothes and other personal effects and a French court ordered an inquiry into Arafat’s death, an autopsy will be conducted on Arafat’s body. Arafat fell seriously ill while being held as a virtual hostage by the Israelis at his Ramallah, Palestine headquarters. Arafat was flown to a hospital in Paris and died a month later in November 2004. Mossad is believed by many to have carried out a “medical assassination” of Arafat.
At the same time that Arafat’s exhumation and autopsy was scheduled, Turkish investigators discovered high levels of DDT, strychnine, and polonium in the body of Turkish President Turgut Ozal.
Ozal died suddenly from a heart attack in 1993 but the new information from a recent autopsy suggests he may have been assassinated through poisoning. Ozal’s widow said her late husband died after drinking a glass of lemonade. Ozal made enemies of the Turkish military and its secret “deep state” network known as “Ergenekon.” Ozal was also an opponent of George H. W. Bush’s “Desert Storm” invasion of Iraq and he made enemies inside the CIA as well as in Mossad.
Two other leaders, known for their nationalist policies, may have also fallen victim to CIA medical assassins. Indonesian President Ahmed Sukarno, confined to house arrest after his overthrow in 1965 in a CIA coup, died in 1970. There is evidence that the CIA may have altered Sukarno’s kidney medication. Sukarno was confined to Bogor Palace and his level of medical treatment was dictated by the Suharto regime and their CIA interlocutors. After falling seriously ill, Sukarno died in the Jakarta Army Hospital.
After Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s sudden death from what was believed to be a heart attack in 1970, there were reports that he may have been poisoned. An aide to Nasser, who was close to Vice President Anwar Sadat, reportedly hid from forensic examiners nail clippings and hair samples taken from the body of Nasser for later testing. Upon becoming Egyptian president, Sadat reversed many of Nasser’s policies, including ejecting Soviet military advisers, opening relations with Israel, and steering Egypt into the Western camp.
In 1961, the CIA station in Leopoldville, Congo tried to poison nationalist Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. Eventually, Lumumba was killed by a Belgian mercenary firing squad in the employment of the CIA. There were also many attempts by the CIA to poison Cuban President Fidel Castro. In 1976, the former leftist president of Brazil, Joao Goulart, died from a sudden heart attack in exile in Uruguay. A former Uruguayan intelligence agent later revealed that Goulart’s heart medication pills were altered in order to have a “contrary effect.” The Goulart family’s cook in Uruguay was later discovered to be a Brazilian intelligence agent with links to the CIA. Goulart was ousted in a 1964 CIA-led coup.
After cases of cancer began to affect several Latin American progressive leaders, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, himself battling cancer, suggested the CIA had dusted off its old medical assassination program. The day following Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s announcement that she was being treated for thyroid cancer, Chavez stated, “Would it be so strange that they’ve [the Americans] invented the technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?” Cancer also plagued Paraguay’s President Fernando Lugo (later ousted in a CIA-backed coup), former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and Brazilian incumbent President Dilma Rousseff.
To Bolivian President Evo Morales and Ecuadorian leader Rafael Correa, Chavez had a dire warning, “Evo, take care of yourself. Correa, be careful. We just don’t know.” After the revelations about the deaths of Arafat and Ozal, Chavez has every right to be concerned.
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, D.C.-based investigative journalist, author and columnist specializing in intelligence and international affairs.
In light of compelling information available on the Internet about the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 as well as the destruction of three World Trade Center buildings with micro-thermite during the course of a well-planned Israeli linked false flag operation in 2001, the issue of Zionist false flag terrorism against the American people to achieve militarist aims is now widely understood. Less well known and further in the past the Lavon affair is another documented case of Israel framing Arabs in an attempt to generate Western reaction. The planned attack of the Lavon affair was foiled by Egyptian security, more recent attacks have been outside of Arab jurisdictions. Revelations about the details of these particular acts of terror, notwithstanding subsequent efforts by the US government to cover them up by preventing public inquiries, along with ongoing mass media disinformation regarding the facts, have confirmed a disturbing pattern of control that is leading toward mass revulsion amidst the population.
Recently, newspapers reported that a Libyan, Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, accused of being the “Lockerbie bomber”, was released from imprisonment in Scotland. It is truly remarkable that his incarceration dragged on for so long, for it was already evident during the course of the trial, that no credible evidence linking him to the crime existed. In the meantime, mainstream media in Britain have reported that he was framed, through false testimony and the intentional withholding of exculpatory information by the court. His appeal was likely to be granted, and attention would inevitably have focused on the question of who actually did carry out the bombing. The calculation appears to have been, that one might circumvent such a situation by releasing him on “humanitarian” grounds, in exchange for dropping the appeal. No later than two years ago, it must have become clear to anyone following the case, that al Megrahi would have to be released, because the head of a Swiss company Mebo, Edwin Bollier, admitted, after the statute of limitations for such a crime had expired, that key evidence used in the trial had actually been faked. Also, in June 2007 the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, upon a three year investigation, reported that there may have been a miscarriage of justice.
Fingering the perpetrators of this act of terror that occurred more than two decades ago is inconvenient because the plausible outcome of an analysis of the situation, back then, while taking into account motive, means, and opportunity, could surely point to a group of known terrorists, enjoying strong support in the United States among influential supporters of Israel, as the primary suspects. These Zionist terrorists and their Jewish supremacist supporters have become so successful through their campaigns of mass murder that they have actually formed and developed a state with a huge military and propaganda apparatus. Indeed, as people have begun to realize, they have effectively taken over the United States government through corruption, coercion and blackmail. Some of their staunchest supporters are in control of financial, media, and academic institutions, thus wielding undue power. Though many have been aware of the facts for a long time, controllers need to present a different story for public consumption, hoping to induce a distorted perception among the masses.
The time elapsed since that fateful bombing over Scotland is half of the time elapsed since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. With the benefit of hindsight and an improved realization of the nature of Zionist inspired terrorism, both historically and currently, a review of the political circumstances during the two final months in 1988 sheds light on what could have been a primary motive for the bombing. On November 1, 1988, elections for the twelfth Knesset took place in Israel, with an outcome that made the formation of a stable government difficult. Exactly one week later, American elections took place, in which Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush beat Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts. During the transition phase of the ensuing weeks, certain political developments could take place that might have seemed too risky to push through if Congress had been in session.
One week after the American elections, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), operating from Tunis, attempted to regain control of events in Palestine, where a popular uprising, the Intifada, had been going on for months. Thus, on November 15, in Algiers, the Palestinian National Council (PNC) formally proclaimed a Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital, and Yasser Arafat as its president. Additionally, the PNC voted to revise the PLO charter and recognized the UN resolutions 242 and 338 as the basis of an international peace conference. This announcement was an important milestone in the Palestinian struggle against the ongoing, forceful, and illegal occupation of their land by an oppressive Israeli regime, and the lame-duck administration of Ronald Reagan would have to address the issue somehow.
According to a 1975 memorandum agreement with Israel, arranged by Henry Kissinger, the United States agreed to not recognize or negotiate with the PLO unless the organization formally recognized Israel and accepted UN resolutions 242 and 338 as the basis for peace in the Middle East. Even engaging in curt small talk with a PLO representative at a party in Amman during the summer of 1979 was taboo. One may recall that Ambassador Andrew Young was forced into resignation from his position as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. during the Carter Administration. Zionist leaders had somehow convinced themselves, that these conditions were too onerous for the PLO to adhere to, and were thus complacent in believing that the US government would continue to refuse any dealings with the PLO. They felt much assured when Secretary of State George Schultz refused a visa to PLO Chairman Arafat a day after he had requested one at the American Embassy in Tunis, so that he could address the UN General Assembly in New York in December. This decision, by Schultz, based on the PLO’s alleged association with terrorism, surprised the diplomatic community.
In early December of 1988, at the invitation of the Swedish government, Arafat met in Stockholm with a group of five American Jews, including Stanley Sheinbaum, one of the Regents of the University of California at the time, to discuss the Middle East situation. After a couple of days of talks, on December 7 Arafat announced the existence of Israel and denounced all forms of terrorism. However, George Schultz proclaimed that the PLO “still has a considerable distance to go” before the United States would deal with it. Israel’s expectations were thus upheld again. During this time, Israel had still not formed a government. However, a week later, on December 14, Arafat gave a press conference in Geneva and clarified the points he had given in a speech at the UN there the previous day. Though the language he used was barely different from that of previous statements rejected by Schultz as being insufficient, this time Schultz accepted the formula and promptly announced that the US State Department would begin discussions with the PLO.
News of this development was greeted with great shock and dismay at the time by Israeli politicians and the public. The PLO was their archenemy, regarded as a group of terrorists bent on destroying them. Extremist Zionists in particular perceived the announcement to recognize the PLO as the end of their dreams for a greater Israel, a genuine existential threat to their future survival. They had just been publicly stabbed in the back by the American administration. This decision could not stand, a strong message, would have to be sent, in response. The Americans could not get away with this, how “dare they” act independently.
With this pace of development, what might the new American regime do upon Bush’s inauguration? This was indeed a most serious development, and Israeli politicians gathered to engage in crisis discussions and expedited negotiating sessions in order to form a new government and deal with this unexpected threat. The possibility of events occurring beyond their control seemed real, and it became an imperative to forestall the U.S. engaging with the PLO.
Exactly one week after the formal American recognition of the PLO, Pan Am Flight 103, exploded in the air on its journey from London to New York on December 21, 1988. Only a few hours after news of this event became public, the reporter for a local television station in California interviewed an “expert on terrorism” live from his location at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica. Interestingly, when asked which group might have engaged in such an act of terrorism, the expert from RAND, upon citing the usual Arab suspects, cautioned that one should not exclude the possibility that a rogue group inside the Israeli military might have felt compelled to carry this out. This was truly unfiltered commentary, as the initial news came trickling in. Afterward, once the mainstream television media had regained their grip, explicit suggestions like this were presumably not heard again. (In contrast, with the benefit of months of operative planning, on September 11, 2001, the media worked from a prepared script; Osama bin Laden was declared the suspect within minutes of the demolition of the second World Trade Center tower, and the collapse of WTC Building 7 was announced at least twenty minutes before it actually occurred.)
Initially, one angle of speculation had been, that the attack was meant to target South Africa because a high level delegation of officials from its government, most notably foreign minister Pik Botha, were said to have been on that flight. Yet later the media reported that Botha had changed his scheduled flight to an earlier one that day and was indeed to arrive in New York. Ad hoc, raw news items like this, with the connotation of a possible advance tip-off, naturally arouses suspicion, especially since the South African government had few close political allies at the time, and so the media did not dwell on this message either. As it turned out, the South African government officials had been booked for Flight 103 but wound up flying to New York on an earlier plane. The next day they were present at UN headquarters to sign the Tripartite Agreement with representatives from Cuba and Angola. Years later, it was revealed that other people mysteriously chose not to take that flight at the last moment. Students from Syracuse University consequently got last minute seats which earlier were said to have been full. Which group of possible perpetrators could have had the technical means to both access the passenger list of a future flight and forewarn selected people? One cannot but help recall what seems to have been an analogous situation, many years later on September 11, 2001, when a select group of individuals received advance warning about the impending operation through an Israeli-based text messaging service, Odigo.
According to a former American ambassador to Qatar, Andrew I. Killgore, who has written articles about the Lockerbie bombing in the Washington Report for Middle East Affairs, there are other interesting facts surrounding the Lockerbie bombing that are not widely known. For instance, in 2002 (but presumably also earlier during investigations) a retired security guard, Ray Manly, revealed that the Pan Am baggage area at Heathrow Airport had been broken into 17 hours before Flight 103 took off. Certainly, planting a bomb directly onto an intended plane is a surer method of targeting that flight than sending an unattended piece of luggage laden with a bomb from Malta to Frankfurt, and then from there to London, which is the narrative that prosecutors concocted to frame al Megrahi. In the case of the latter method, there is no way of being sure that the suitcase will actually be on the target flight, but alternatively there is a slight chance, due to general sloppiness, that it could wind up on a flight one definitely would not want to target.
Killgore refers to reports that Pan Am had commissioned a team to handle the baggage security at 25 branches around the world. One member of that team was Isaac Yeffet, who headed a company by the name of Alert Management Inc. Employees of Yeffet’s company had full access to the Pan Am facility at Heathrow Airport and thus might have been expected to detect an unattended bag coming from Malta, or prevent the introduction of a bomb at Heathrow.
According to media reports, Isaac Yeffet is the former chief of security for El Al and an ex-director of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, and now runs a security company based in New Jersey. In this context, the reader might recall, that responsibility for security at all three airports of alleged hijackings on September 11, 2001 also lay with an Israeli owned company.
One feature of grand scale terrorist events, such as airplane bombings, is that perpetrators tend not to reveal themselves to the public, so the question of culpability becomes a mystery. One method of following up is for the perpetrators to attempt to make it appear as if though an enemy was actually responsible. Israeli operatives have repeatedly deployed this trick for at least half a century, at least since the incident in Cairo that led to the Lavon Affair. However, it is impossible to fool the entire population. After the Lockerbie bombing, the predominately Jewish controlled media in America planted several accusations against various groups or governments, Ahmed Jabril of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Abu Nidal, Syria, Iran, and of course Libya. Yet none of these groups really had the means or opportunity to carry out such an operation. Palestinians certainly didn’t have a motive in light of the breakthrough for their cause a week earlier, which didn’t preclude hypotheses of some rival Palestinian group committing the act out of sheer jealousy or disagreement from being presented.
As if these accusations and hypotheses in the media were not enough to distract and saturate the public with psychological propaganda, the New York Times Magazine, on Sunday March 18, 1990 (which coincided with the date of the only parliamentary elections in East Germany) proffered yet another malicious insinuation. Appearing as a bold headline on its cover, above a photo of the front of the jumbo jet lying on its side in Lockerbie, one could read the following words: “The German Connection”. This was likely part of the New York Times’ conspicuous “hate campaign” against Germany in general, but also against the impending German reunification in particular, which during early 1990, during the time of the negotiations leading to the so-called “Two Plus Four Agreement”, had reached a feverish pitch, spearheaded by former executive editor A. M. Rosenthal in various vitriolic editorials.
Another noteworthy piece of information relates to the disappointment of some British family members of persons who had been on that flight, with the way the case was developing. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was said to have blocked a full judicial inquiry into the issue. This raises the question, which group in Britain would have had sufficient influence to prevail upon the highest governmental official? An alternate explanation is, that President George H. W. Bush had prevailed upon her to tone down the investigation, which merely shifts the same question of complicity or cover-up toward power circumstances in the United States.
However, it was reported in 1993 that according to Minister of Parliament Tam Dalyell, Thatcher, who also had the role of being the head of intelligence services, stated unequivocally, that Libya did not carry out the bombing. It would seem that there was pressure to hide certain facts.
The violent destruction of an airplane with innocent people is also a highly political statement directed toward an élite group of decision makers in order to affect a particular policy. Therefore, it is fair to surmise that the perpetrators, who had to have had the motive, means, and opportunity to carry out the heinous crime, intended to signal their involvement, without stating it explicitly. If the intended recipients of such hints of involvement were themselves top-level criminals or terrorists, with blood on their hands, they would tend to acknowledge the hints in a different manner than the public inevitably would and, unlike the public, not get emotional about the situation. This can be viewed as part of a political game engaged in by psychopaths. Therefore, one should monitor official statements or communiqués for clues. During the Cold War there were American specialists called Kremlinologists, who would notice subtle and innocuous messages or announcements with important meaning. This is the diplomatic language of polite understatement.
On December 23, 1988, within two days after the Lockerbie bombing Israeli politicians agreed to form a coalition or unity government, headed by Yitzhak Shamir, who had gone to high school in Bialystok and became a terrorist in Palestine before World War II, after Hebraizing his surname from Jeziernicky. On that day, Shamir addressed the newly formed twelfth Knesset, in which he made multiple references to the PLO and the implications of its international recognition (which on the following day, Christmas Eve, included a meeting between Chairman Arafat and Pope John Paul in the Vatican). Below are key passages, translated into English by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
It is regrettable that we were forced to strenuously disagree with the recent U.S. decision regarding a dialogue with the PLO which, as far as we see and know, has not changed its character or ways, its malicious covenant and the terrorism that it perpetrates. We know this from the statements of its central figures, and from its actions in the field, and the government of Israel, in accordance with its guidelines, will not negotiate with it. We still hope that the U.S. will reconsider its decision vis-a-vis the PLO. We have paid close attention to the statements made by administration spokesmen regarding their approach to the issue of terrorism; we hope that after due consideration, they will draw the necessary conclusions regarding the PLO. The developments in the international arena and the challenges that we will face oblige us to overcome our differences in order to confront the problems together, and to overcome the obstacles and dangers that have been placed in our way. I am referring chiefly to the large-scale propaganda and diplomatic offensive being conducted now against Israel in the international diplomatic arena by the terrorist organizations and their friends and supporters, an offensive which is based on deception and on misleading. Its obvious objective is to gain international support for the establishment of a PLO-Palestinian state within Eretz Israel. In addition, we see special preparations being made to exert great pressure on us to cause us to make a complete withdrawal to the suffocating borders of 1967.
At that time there was no Internet, so only a few of the people who do not understand Hebrew were actually privy to the text at the time. Adopting a Talmudic perspective and the aggressive mindset that prevails among militant Zionists in Israel, one could certainly rationalize the Lockerbie bombing as an act of self-defense, a means to prevent suffocation and encirclement before such efforts can attain momentum. Shamir’s violent life had been filled with acts of terror. In this light the Lockerbie bombing can be viewed as an irate expression of “strenuous disagreement”.
- by reader submission
- Deception over Lockerbie (Aletho News)
- Author calls Megrahi’s cancer ‘a gift for those with something to hide’ (scotsman.com)
- Lockerbie Hariri case and the perversion of the international justice (Aletho News)
In death, the U.S. media remembered the late Yitzhak Shamir as “a political hard-liner who served two terms as Israeli prime minster” (CNN, 6/30/12), “the hawkish Israeli leader who balked at the idea of trading occupied land for peace with the Palestinians” (MSNBC, 6/30/12) and “a man of iron will and simple tastes” (Washington Post, 6/30/12) who
prided himself on his hard-line views, his relentless determination to hang onto every square inch of what he considered the Land of Israel, and his championing of Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, defying the demands of Israel’s most important ally, the United States.
Neither CNN or MSNBC mentioned Shamir’s terrorist past, but the Post offered a taste of the bloody history with a couple of paragraphs on Shamir’s leadership of Lehi (AKA the Stern Gang), the most extreme Jewish militia in Palestine in the 1940s:
While mainstream Zionist groups forged a truce with the British to combat Nazism during World War II, Mr. Shamir and Lehi fought on, even offering to cooperate with the Germans to rid Palestine of British rule.
Mr. Shamir was the architect of Lehi’s most daring attack, the 1944 assassination in Cairo of Lord Moyne, Britain’s top Middle East official and a close friend of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.”
The New York Times (6/30/12) obituary, which described Shamir as “promoting a muscular Zionism,” included some reporting on his terrorist past, but when it came down to calling things what they are, the Times would only report that some Shamir opponents called him a terrorist:
Many of his friends and colleagues ascribed his character to his years in the underground in the 1940s, when he sent Jewish fighters out to kill British officers whom he saw as occupiers. He was a wanted man then; to the British rulers of the Palestine mandate he was a terrorist, an assassin. He appeared in public only at night, disguised as a Hasidic rabbi. But Mr. Shamir said he considered those “the best years of my life.”
The evidence that Shamir was a terrorist is conclusive. Shamir was one of three men leading Lehi as the group carried out dozens of assassinations, including those of the British diplomat Lord Moyne, in 1944, and the Swedish-born United Nations peace envoy, Count Folke Bernadotte, in 1948.
Lehi joined forces with the Irgun, another Jewish militia responsible for terrorist atrocities, in the 1948 killing of between 100 and 250 Palestinians, including many women and children, in the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin. According to the Nexis news database, no U.S. news story about Shamir’s death mentioned his r0le in what would come to be known as the Deir Yassin Massacre.
The U.S. press isn’t always so delicate in naming someone a terrorist. For instance, in the Times 2004 obituary for Yasser Arafat (11/11/04), reporter Judith Miller reported that the Palestinian leader “began his long political career with high-profile acts of anti-Israel terrorism.”
It’s a double standard based on whether the terrorist was considered a friend or foe by U.S. officialdom. From the outpouring of respect expressed by U.S. officials on Shamir’s passing, one could have predicted a whitewash of his terrorist history in the press.
- Death of a Proud, Self-Avowed Terrorist: Former Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir Goes to the Great Hague in the Sky (alethonews.wordpress.com)
After the death of the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat seven years ago, many voices called for an official and open investigation into the cause; they were ignored. Palestinian, Arabic and even international parties have been trying to keep the cause hidden or, at least, away from serious discussion.
There are strong suggestions that those behind Arafat’s death were the Israelis, backed by the US, as they used to announce repeatedly and loudly that he was an obstacle to the peace process. That idea was developed after his famous stance at the second Camp David summit in 1999.
The unknown factor is who helped the Israelis and Americans to assassinate the Palestinian President. It seems obvious that he must have been a Palestinian from the leader’s close coterie. Doubts surround Arafat’s successors who divided his heritage among themselves but did not follow the way that he had set out in the way he treated the Israelis; they opted for another, worse way, which is leading the Palestinians to an unknown end.
Not only Fatah members or PLO factions but also all Palestinians used to ask for a public inquiry to know the reasons for Arafat’s death. The issue is still a cause of discontent among the current Palestinian leadership whose members were ready to occupy his position.
Many of Arafat’s successors across the leadership promised to launch a public inquiry, but they have not done so. They did not even publish the report from the French military hospital where Arafat passed away. That created even more suspicions among Palestinian citizens and factions.
Following an investigation by Aljazeera TV, it now seems almost certain that Arafat was killed by a dose of Polonium, the same radioactive substance which was used to kill the ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. It is not known yet who was responsible, or how this substance was administered to Arafat. Some say it was inserted through his ear, some through a poisoned kiss, and others a poisoned meal.
There is a prime suspect, but he will not be named easily until a comprehensive, independent investigation has been carried out. Aljazeera’s report, broadcast on Tuesday, did not name exactly who was involved in Arafat’s death; it did, though, prove that he was killed by Polonium which must have been injected or inserted into his body by one of his close aides.
For now, there are some important facts which should be made public about this issue. The first is that Mahmoud Abbas was the main tool used by Arafat’s foes to diminish his power when he was nominated to be the first Palestinian Prime Minster while the President was still alive. That was clearly against Arafat’s will, and his supporters took to the streets in massive demonstrations all over the Palestinian territories calling Abbas a collaborator with the Israelis and Americans. Those demonstrations continued until Abbas was deposed as PM.
After Arafat’s death, Abbas was in control of all of his positions and somewhat miraculously became the only choice to succeed him as President, supported by all Fatah and PLO leaders. Abbas was also welcomed by the Israelis, Arab, US and other international leaders as Arafat’s logical successor and the real partner for peace in the Middle East.
The fact that Mahmoud Abbas refused any kind of investigation into his predecessor’s death increases doubts about plans to keep the cause a secret. It is known that cultures from Arafat’s body were taken several days after his death to be tested in French, Jordanian and Tunisian laboratories, but they were “lost”.
Even the conditions surrounding Arafat’s burial were suspicious. Sheikh Tayssit al-Tamimi, the Palestinian Mufti who led the funeral prayer, confirmed several times on different occasions that there was suspicion regarding Arafat’s death.
Another important point relates to Mohammed Dahlan, who was one of the planned successors of Arafat. In a meeting in one of Gaza’s mosques in 2006, Yasser Abu-Helal, the founder of Al Ahrar Movement, declared that Dahlan had told Hamas leader Abdul Aziz al-Rantissi that his movement must take part in a campaign of incitement against Arafat in 2004 to protect him from being assassinated by the Israelis.
Rantissi refused and the head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal, told a press conference that Yasser Arafat was the target of a dirty tricks campaign by Palestinian figures; he said that Hamas would not keep silent if any harm came to President Arafat.
Neverthess, Yasser Arafat was killed and no formal investigations have been conducted. It is important now, following Aljazeera’s investigations, for a public inquiry to be opened by the International Criminal Court, which has the legal authority to conduct such an investigation. This is an issue of international importance, given that the peace process is still trundling on to nowhere. Palestinians need to know who has their best interests at heart, and who killed Yasser Arafat.
- PA Agrees to Exhume Body of Yasser Arafat After Evidence of Radiation Poisoning Alleged (alethonews.wordpress.com)
The current leaders of the West Bank Palestinians are physically, politically and financially taken hostages by the Oslo agreements that they negotiated, signed and promoted. Oslo City was the venue of the secret Israeli-Palestinian ‘peace agreement.’ Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat signed the agreement’s ‘Declaration of Principles’ on the lawns of the White House, hosted by US President Clinton on Sep 13, 1993. Arafat who sold Oslo to his people as ‘the peace of the brave’ was jailed in his Ramallah headquarters and he allegedly was executed by his Israeli Oslo partners after fulfilling his role in recognizing the State of Israel.
The Palestinian Oslo negotiators promised their people that Oslo was a plan to create an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza while some senior PLO members rejected the agreements and many Palestinian intellectuals and foreign observers concluded that Oslo would lead the Palestinians to nowhere. Edward Said, Palestine’s most prominent intellectual, criticized the agreement because it had not addressed the refugees and Jerusalem questions. Edward Said was ridiculed by members of the Oslo team and his books were banned in the West Bank and Gaza by orders from Arafat as a retaliation measure.
It was a common knowledge that Israel had absolutely no intention of conceding Jerusalem or the Palestinian refugee right of return, but the two issues were shelved by Oslo agreements until the so-called “final status talks” which was nothing but a fig leaf to surrender to Israel the most important issues. The UN Resolution 194 of December 11, 1948 affirmed the right of Palestinian refugees who had fled or had been expelled during the war to return to their homes. Resolution 194, a direct application of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was adopted by the United Nations unanimously in 1948. After signing Oslo agreements, the US Administration under President Clinton that was the main sponsor of Oslo argued at the UN, that past UN resolutions on Palestine were “obsolete and anachronistic” after the signing of Oslo.
The American journalist Tomas Friedman who is known for his pro-Israel writings described Arafat’s letter to Rabin recognizing Israel as a humiliation for Arafat and the PLO and an Israeli decisive victory over the Palestinian national movement. He wrote that the letter was “not a statement of recognition. It is a letter of surrender, a type-written white flag in which the PLO chairman renounced every political position on Israel he has held since the PLO’s foundation in 1964.” Arafat’s letter to Rabin promised to assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance with Oslo agreements; prevent violations and discipline violators; and declared inoperative all the articles in the Palestinian Covenant which denied Israel’s right to exist.
The Israeli journalist Danny Rubenstein predicted at the time of Oslo signing and the establishment of the Palestine Authority (PA) that the “autonomy” which the Israelis accepted for the Palestinians was the autonomy “of a POW camp, where the prisoners are autonomous to cook their meals without interference and to organize cultural events.”
On August 8, 1995, the Financial Times was dismayed that the unfair pattern of water seizure by Israel had not been changed years after Oslo agreements: “Nothing symbolizes the inequality of water consumption more than the fresh green lawns, irrigated flower beds, blooming gardens and swimming pools of Jewish settlements in the West Bank”, while nearby Palestinian villages were denied the right to drill wells.
After giving Oslo team the benefit of the doubt, the Palestinian leader, Haidar Abdel-Shafi concluded that Oslo agreements and the PA would fail the Palestinian national cause. For those who do not know, Haidar Abdel-Shafi was the head of the Palestinian negotiating team in Washington that was boycotted by Israel for insisting on having a commitment by Israel to withdraw from East Jerusalem and dismantling the settlements as part of any acceptable interim agreements. Israel chose to negotiate with Oslo team which agreed to Israel’s demand to leave Jerusalem, the refugees and the settlements issues until the “final status talk” of the negotiations.
The Oslo agreements partitioned the occupied lands into zones where the Palestinian Authority is allowed to have different administrative and security powers. Besides the towns and malls and highways built on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Jerusalem for Jews only, there are many other visible failures of Oslo agreements. Oslo gave Israel the power to divide the Palestinians into groups with different gradation of legal statuses and different security regimes depending on where they live. There are the Israeli Palestinians, Jerusalem Palestinians, Palestinians who reside between the apartheid wall and the green line, Palestinians in zone A or B or C, Gaza Strip Palestinians, the 1948 refugees, the 1967 refugees and the Palestinians who came with Arafat from Tunisia.
The Oslo team in the West Bank still believes the Palestinian issue is a border dispute between two states, but the facts on the ground suggest the Palestinians’ struggle today is existential. The Israelis including the left have adopted the theology of the rabbis that calls for Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians to be based on “Jewish history”, Jewish ethnicity and Jewish religion. The Israelis perceive the settlements, especially in Jerusalem, as an integral part of their national heritage closely tied to the Jews “glorious past.” Some Israelis liken the Palestinians to the biblical Philistines or Amalek, a nation that, in the Torah, “God Commands” the Israelites to “expunge!!” Rabbi Dov Lior, the chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba settlement wrote in 2009: “We must cleanse the country of Arabs and resettle them where they came from, if necessary by paying.” Due to the military training indoctrination and religious beliefs, the attitude of the Israeli young generation toward the Palestinians is more radical than their parents.
The news from Israel suggests the right-wing government is popular and if a new parliamentary election takes place today, Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud Party will be a winner. As long as the majority of the Israeli people support the ethno-security regime and do not pay the cost of occupation, the status quo in the occupied lands will continue. Due to its success in ruling the West Bank Palestinian population through the proxy of the Palestinian Authority that is financed by the donor countries and the siege of Gaza, Israel does not feel a need for making any concession to the Palestinians as long as the Oslo team controls the Palestinian population. The Israelis believe they can manage the conflict until the Palestinians are ready to settle the conflict on Israel’s own terms.
The Israeli architect of Oslo, Yossi Beilin, wrote a letter dated April 4, 2012 to his Palestinian Oslo partner, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), the president of the Palestinian Authority. The letter stated that the Oslo agreements were based on “the Beilin-Abu Mazen talks” and described the agreements as “a process that promised to lead to a partition of the land in a few years [not the withdrawal from the occupied lands] ……and a fitting symbolic and economic resolution to the problem of the Palestinian refugees [not according to the UN resolution 194].” Beilin reminded Abbas that the PA was an interim phase of the agreement and “One simply cannot continue with an interim agreement for more than 20 years.” Beilin’s letter suggests that if the PA is not dissolved after two decades of signing the Oslo agreements the territory administered by the PA will become the de facto Palestinian state.
The Oslo team has failed to deliver on its promises to establish an independent Palestinian state. Under Oslo team leadership, the vast majority of the Palestinians in the occupied lands are poor, living on donors’ handouts, fearing the confiscation of their land, subjected to ethnic cleansing, family separation and home demolition. They experience daily humiliation creeping for hours along the pocked, blockaded roads assigned to them by the Israelis. The Palestinians are living under military rule in disconnected enclaves, surrounded by sprawling massive Jewish settlements, Jewish only roads, and the separation wall; or they are living in the besieged Gaza and millions are left homeless without citizenship in refugee camps.
Due to their failed policies, the Oslo team has disqualified themselves politically and legally from leading their people. Time has come to declare the Oslo “peace process” over and allow a new leadership that thinks differently to step in. The new team should reject imposing Jewish hegemonic conceptions on the millions of Palestinians as individuals or groups. They should demand equality within the framework of one state over all historical Palestine.
- Hasan Afif El-Hasan is a political analyst. His latest book, Is The Two-State Solution Already Dead? (Algora Publishing, New York), now available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
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Abu Jihad coordinates with fedayeen (Palestinian guerrilla fighters) during the siege of Beirut in 1982. (Photo: Archive)
It took Israeli intelligence over two decades and many assassination attempts before they managed to hunt down the PLO’s military mastermind Khalil al-Wazir. On the 24th anniversary of his death, Al-Akhbar recounts his story.
When Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad) began his endeavor in the early 1950s, Israeli intelligence had no idea he existed. At the time, he was the twenty-something leader of the Palestinian al-Haq Brigade in Gaza. His family had been displaced from Ramleh in 1948.
Back then, the security establishment in Israel did not believe that Palestinians were capable of organizing a resistance movement. Operations by the fedayeen (Palestinian guerrilla fighters) were believed to be entirely orchestrated in Egypt.
It took Tel Aviv about 10 years to begin to know al-Wazir, who would go on to play a major role in establishing the first and largest Palestinian national liberation movement. Moreover, he would coin the idea of “armed struggle” as the only path to liberate Palestine.
News of Abu Jihad first reached Israel in 1964 through a secret Mossad unit named “Ulysses” whose mission was to spy on Palestinian refugee communities in Arab countries. Operatives spoke about the creation of a Palestinian national liberation movement led by Yasser Arafat and al-Wazir and sounded the alarm in Israeli security agencies.
According to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot– which pieced together the story of the assassination of Abu Jihad based on public and private sources – the Mossad formed a secret unit in 1965. Its prime directive was to investigate methods of countering “Palestinian terrorism” and approve assassinations. It immediately suggested two primary targets: Abu Ammar (Arafat) and Abu Jihad.
The first assassination attempt was in Damascus when a planned car bomb operation was not executed properly. It was carried out by an agent of Unit 504 of the military intelligence, responsible for recruiting and running operatives.
Abu Jihad’s role in pushing for armed struggle against Israel became apparent, especially in the period following the naksah (the defeat of Arab armies in 1967). In 1970, Israeli prime minister Golda Meir retaliated by issuing him a “Red Card,” essentially a direct assassination order.
The Israeli secret service was adamant to settle scores with Abu Jihad and put an end to his dossier. In 1975, the Israeli air force raided a building in Beirut based on information of a Fatah movement meeting taking place there. In addition to Abu Jihad, Fatah leaders Arafat, Faruq Qaddumi, and Mahmoud Abbas were supposedly attending.
The Ben Hur operation missed the target and encouraged an escalation of attacks on Israel, coordinated by Abu Jihad, who was now the deputy chief commander of the Palestinian revolution.
On 11 March 1978, he planned the Kamal Adwan operation (named after a Fatah leader assassinated in Beirut in 1973), which was carried out by the Deir Yassin group led by Dalal Mughrabi.
The operation led to the death of 35 Israelis, with dozens more injured. It created a shock wave inside Israel especially following Abu Jihad’s announcement that the operation “demonstrated the ability of the revolution to reach Israel and carry out operations anywhere it wants.”
Following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the PLO’s relocation to Tunisia, Abu Jihad attempted to reverse the setback in armed struggle.
He visited various Arab countries, exposing himself to three assassination attempts, according to the Israeli account.
Abu Jihad, for his part, was planning an “unprecedented” operation that would strengthen the PLO’s position and impose new conditions on the struggle with the Israelis.
Twenty resistance fighters were supposed to reach Yafa by rubber dinghies, hijack a bus, drive it to the defense ministry in Tel Aviv, and attack the entrance known as Gate Victor. But the Israeli navy surprised their ship and sank it on 20 April 1985.
Abu Jihad did not hesitate and pressed on with plans for another major operation. In 1988, he picked Dimona, the location of Israel’s nuclear reactor.
On March 7, three Palestinian commandos captured a bus carrying workers from the nuclear facility. The fighters were consequently killed along with three of the workers in an exchange of fire with an Israeli army unit.
The Mossad concentrated its resources on the pursuit of Abu Jihad, by now the number one wanted person in Israel. Defense minister at the time, Yitzhak Rabin, ordered a direct operation that would not resort to remote targeting such as an air raid. He wanted to send a message to the Palestinian movement that Israel can reach its enemies in their homes.
The Mossad surveilled al-Wazir’s home in Tunis, 4km from the beach. It began planning an assassination attempt and sent a unit from Sayeret Matkal (General Staff Reconnaissance Unit) to the Tunisian shores.
It was to repeat the same scenario used successfully 15 years earlier against three Palestinian leaders in Beirut (know as the “Verdun Operation”).
On 13 April 1988, the quarter century chase after al-Wazir was almost over. Mossad agents carrying Lebanese passports arrived in Tunis and split into two groups.
The first group rented cars to transport the assassination unit from the beach to the targeted house, which was being closely watched by the second group.
In the meantime, Israeli navy vessels carrying the assassins were waiting at sea. In the evening, a unit of 26 Israeli commandos reached the beach and took the rented cars to al-Wazir’s home. After 23 years, they finally managed to assassinate him.
The next day, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was asked about Israel’s involvement in the assassination. Scowling, he replied, “I just heard about it on the radio.”
From Ramleh to Yarmouk
Khalil al-Wazir was born in 1935 in Ramleh and was expelled from Palestine along with his family in 1948. He studied in Alexandria University and then moved to Saudi Arabia.
Later, he went to Kuwait where he met with Yasser Arafat and joined him in creating the Fatah movement.
Leaving Kuwait in 1963, he founded the first Fatah office in Algeria, where he was allowed to establish the first Palestinian military camp.
He then moved on to Damascus in 1965 to establish the military command headquarters and coordinate with fedayeen cells inside Palestine.
During the 1967 war, he planned and executed operations in Upper Galilee, then became the head of the western sector of Fatah until 1982.
Abu Jihad strived to develop military capabilities throughout his struggle, playing a leading role in defending Beirut against the 1982 Israeli invasion.
In his meetings with the fedayeen, he would focus on tactics and also on ethics, telling them to save ammunition and explosives, not to be zealots, and not to steal.
One time, when he was ordering the fedayeen to avoid killing children, one of them replied, “Our children in Shatila and Sabra were the first to die… I lost 12 members of my family.”
Abu Jihad’s reply was clear, “In spite of this, we will not become like those fascists. We are not fascists. [The Prophet Muhammad’s second successor] Omar Bin Khattab commands us not to cut down trees or kill children.”
Memory of Resistance
Those who knew Abu Jihad speak of his special relationship with Imad Mughniyeh. At the end of 1978, a 16-year-old Mughniyeh joined the Fatah cell in Chiyah.
Bassem Haidar, who was in charge of the cell between 1977 and 1979, says that the boy was always with another young man, Ali Khodor Salama (Abu Hassan), assassinated by Israel in 1999 in Abra, near Sidon.
The newcomer soon caught the attention of the higher command of the Palestinian revolution, specifically Abu Jihad, due to his skill in planning ambushes in the area between Tayouneh and Asaad al-Asaad street (south of Beirut).
He was none other than Mughniyeh, Hezbollah’s military commander who was assassinated in Damascus in 2008.
“Mughniyeh was the only person able to provide the cell with the weapons they needed. He would go to the Fakhani neighborhood (PLO headquarters in Beirut) and get it,” Haidar remembers.
“Once, we needed 3.5 inch anti-tank missiles, so he was sent to get them.” Haidar continues, “Had Mughniyeh’s relationship with Abu Jihad not been good, he would not have been able to get them, since they pass directly through the leadership.”
In 1978, Mughniyeh left the Chiyah cell after “he was summoned by the leadership in Fakhani and began clandestine work in a secret security unit. We never saw him again.”
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