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Israel’s History of Assassinating Palestinian Leaders

The IMEU | November 6, 2013

On November 6, several news outlets reported that the widow of former Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat announced that the results of a Swiss investigation into her late husband’s death concluded he was poisoned with polonium, a radioactive substance.

In November 2012, Arafat’s body was exhumed in order for medical examiners to take samples of his remains to test for polonium, part of a murder investigation launched by French authorities at the request of Suha Arafat following the discovery last summer of traces of the highly toxic substance on some of his personal effects. In October 2004, after enduring a two-year siege by the Israeli military in his West Bank headquarters, Arafat fell seriously ill. Two weeks later he was transported to a French military hospital where he died. Doctors concluded he died from a stroke caused by a mysterious blood disorder.

At the time, many Palestinians suspected that Arafat was murdered. Over the years, he had survived numerous assassination attempts by Israel, and just six months before his death then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that an agreement he had made with US President George W. Bush promising that Israel wouldn’t kill Arafat was no longer valid, stating: “I released myself from the commitment in regard to Arafat.”

Two years prior to that statement, in an interview published in February 2002, Sharon told an Israeli journalist that he regretted not killing Arafat when he had the chance during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, stating: “I am sorry that we did not liquidate him.” In 2002, current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then in the opposition following his first term as prime minister (1996-1999), told the Likud party Central Committee: “We must completely and totally eradicate Arafat’s regime and remove him from the vicinity… This one thing must be understood: If we do not remove Arafat and his regime, the terror will return and increase. And only if we do remove them is there any chance of turning a new leaf in our relationship with the Palestinians.” When Arafat died, Netanyahu was serving as Minister of Finance in Sharon’s government.

PARTIAL LIST OF ISRAELI ASSASSINATIONS OF PALESTINIANS

2012 – On November 14, two days after Palestinian factions in Gaza agree to a truce following several days of violence, Israel assassinates the leader of Hamas’ military wing, Ahmed Jabari, threatening to escalate the violence once again after a week in which at least six Palestinian civilians are killed and dozens more wounded in Israeli attacks. Although Israeli officials know that Jabari is in the process of finalizing a long-term truce, and that he is one of the few people in Gaza who can enforce it, they kill him anyway, marking the start of a week-long assault on Gaza that kills more than 100 Palestinian civilians, including at least 33 children, and wounds more than 1000 others.

2012 – On March 9, Israel violates an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire and assassinates the head of the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, Zuhair al-Qaisi, sparking another round of violence in which at least two dozen Palestinians are killed, including at least four civilians, and scores more wounded. As it usually does, Israel claims it is acting in self-defense, against an imminent attack being planned by the PRC, while providing no evidence to substantiate the allegation.

Following the assassination, Israeli journalist Zvi Bar’el writes in the Haaretz newspaper:

“It is hard to understand what basis there is for the assertion that Israel is not striving to escalate the situation. One could assume that an armed response by the Popular Resistance Committees or Islamic Jihad to Israel’s targeted assassination was taken into account. But did anyone weigh the possibility that the violent reaction could lead to a greater number of Israeli casualties than any terrorist attack that Zuhair al-Qaisi, the secretary-general of the Popular Resistance Committees, could have carried out?

“In the absence of a clear answer to that question, one may assume that those who decided to assassinate al-Qaisi once again relied on the ‘measured response’ strategy, in which an Israeli strike draws a reaction, which draws an Israeli counter-reaction.”

2010 – In January, suspected Israeli assassins kill senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room. As in the past, the Israeli agents believed to have carried out the killing use forged and stolen foreign passports from western countries, including Britain, France, Ireland and Germany, causing an international uproar.

2009 – On January 15, an Israeli airstrike kills Said Seyam, Hamas’ Interior Minister and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

2009 – On January 1, an Israeli airstrike on the home of senior Hamas military commander Nizar Rayan kills him and 15 family members, including 11 of his children.

2006 – On June 8, Israel assassinates Jamal Abu Samhadana, founder of the Popular Resistance Committees and Interior Minister of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority government, killing three other members of the PRC in the process.

2004 – On April 17, Israel assassinates Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a co-founder of Hamas and its leader since the assassination of Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin a month earlier. Rantisi is considered a moderate within Hamas.

2004 – On March 22, Israel assassinates the 67-year-old wheelchair-bound spiritual leader and co-founder of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, as he leaves prayers at a mosque in Gaza, killing nine innocent bystanders in the process.

2003 – On March 8, Israel assassinates Ibrahim Maqadma, one of the founders of Hamas and one of its top military commanders.

2002 – On July 23, hours before a widely reported ceasefire declared by Hamas and other Palestinian groups is scheduled to come into effect, Israel bombs an apartment building in the middle of the night in the densely populated Gaza Strip in order to assassinate Hamas leader Salah Shehada. Fourteen civilians, including nine children, are also killed in the attack, and 50 others wounded, leading to a scuttling of the ceasefire and a continuation of violence.

2002 – On January 14, Israel assassinates Raed Karmi, a militant leader in the Fatah party, following a ceasefire agreed to by all Palestinian militant groups the previous month, leading to its cancellation. Later in January, the first suicide bombing by the Fatah linked Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade takes place.

2001 – On November 23, Israel assassinates senior Hamas militant, Mahmoud Abu Hanoud. At the time, Hamas was adhering to an agreement made with PLO head Yasser Arafat not to attack targets inside of Israel. Following the killing, Israeli military correspondent of the right-leaning Yediot Ahronot newspaper, Alex Fishman, writes in a front-page story:

“We again find ourselves preparing with dread for a new mass terrorist attack within the Green Line [Israel’s pre-1967 border]… Whoever gave a green light to this act of liquidation knew full well that he is thereby shattering in one blow the gentleman’s agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority; under that agreement, Hamas was to avoid in the near future suicide bombings inside the Green Line…”

2001 – On August 27, Israel uses US-made Apache helicopter gunships to assassinate Abu Ali Mustafa, secretary general of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In response, PFLP members assassinate Israel’s Tourism Minister and notorious right-wing hardliner, Rehavam Ze’evi, who advocated the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza.

2001 – On August 15, undercover Israeli soldiers assassinate Emad Abu Sneineh, a member of the Fatah linked Tanzim militia, opening fire on him at close range.

2001 – On August 5, Israeli forces assassinate Hamas member Amer Mansour Habiri in the West Bank city of Tulkarem, firing missiles at his car from helicopter gunships.

2001– On July 29, Israel assassinates Jamal Mansour, a senior member of Hamas’ political wing.

2001 – On July 25, as Israeli and Palestinian Authority security officials are scheduled to meet to shore up a six-week-old ceasefire amidst the violence of the Second Intifada, Israel assassinates a senior Islamic Jihad member, Salah Darwazeh in Nablus.

1997 – In September, the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempts to assassinate Khaled Meshaal, the chairman of Hamas’ political bureau, in Amman, Jordan. Israeli agents using fake Canadian passports attempt to kill Meshaal by injecting poison into his ear. The would-be assassins are quickly captured and in the ensuing diplomatic uproar Jordan’s King Hussein threatens to cut off relations with Israel and publicly try and hang the Israeli agents unless Israel provides the antidote to the poison. The Netanyahu government turns over the antidote, saving Meshaal’s life. As part of the deal, Israel also releases Hamas spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin from prison.

1996 – On January 5, Israel assassinates Hamas military commander Yahya Ayash, known as “The Engineer,” detonating explosives in a cell phone he is using. Over the next two months, Hamas responds by launching four suicide bombings that kill more than 50 Israelis. Israeli intelligence later concludes: “the attacks were most probably a direct reaction to the assassination of Ayash.”

1995 – In October, Israeli gunmen assassinate Fathi Shiqaqi, a founder of Islamic Jihad, in Malta, as he leaves his hotel in Valletta.

1994 – On November 2, Israel assassinates journalist Hani Abed, who has ties to Islamic Jihad, using a bomb rigged to his car.

1988 – On April 16, Israel assassinates senior PLO leader Khalil al-Wazir in Tunisia, even as the Reagan administration is trying to organize an international conference to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The US State Department condemns the murder as an “act of political assassination.” In ensuing protests in the occupied territories, a further seven Palestinians are gunned down by Israeli forces.

1986 – On June 9, Khalid Nazzal, Secretary of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is shot dead by Israeli agents in Athens, Greece.

1983 – On August 21, senior PLO official and top aid to Yasser Arafat, Mamoun Meraish, is shot and killed by Israeli agents in Athens, Greece. According to later Israeli press reports, future Foreign Minister (currently Minister of Justice) Tzipi Livni  is involved in Meraish’s killing.

1978 – On March 28, Wadie Haddad, a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, dies in East Germany from slow-acting poison ingested several months earlier. It is later revealed that Israeli agents were behind his murder.

1972 – On July 8, Palestinian author and intellectual Ghassan Kanafani and his 17-year-old niece are killed in Beirut by a car bomb, believed to have been planted by Israeli agents. A member of the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Kanafani was considered a major literary figure in the Arab world and beyond.

1972 – During the 1970s, Israel carries out a series of assassinations against Palestinians they accuse of being involved with the Black September militant organization, which is responsible for the hostage taking of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany, resulting in the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes and officials. On October 16, 1972, Wael Zwaiter, a renowned Palestinian intellectual and the PLO representative to Italy, is shot and killed by Israeli agents in Rome. Israel accuses him of being involved with Black September, a charge strenuously denied by PLO officials and those who knew him, who pointed out that Zwaiter was a pacifist.

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Road map for a decease plan

By Trish Schuh | Tehran Times | April 28, 2005

TEHRAN — Yasser Arafat’s removal was a triumph for Israel. It fulfilled demands for the election of anti-Intifada Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and his associates who “work well with Israel and America,” and whose commitment to disarm the Palestinians will enable Israeli land theft for settlements to continue without resistance or reprisal from undefended Palestinians. Israel achieved Arafat’s demise: “The obstacle to peace(s of land?) will be eradicated forever.”

According to President Bush’s closest advisors, Bush had a radical change of heart in January 2002, when he decided for the first time that Yasser Arafat was an irredeemable terrorist unfit as a peace partner. Israel confiscated the Iranian freighter Karine A in the Red Sea, allegedly with a cargo of munitions en route to Gaza militants. Upon receiving “evidence” from the CIA via Mossad that Arafat had knowledge of the shipment, Ariel Sharon got what he always wanted: America’s de facto elimination of Arafat as leader of the Palestinian Authority.

With Washington watching, Israeli tanks surrounded Arafat’s Ramallah compound while Ariel Sharon’s cabinet discussed deporting Arafat. Under intense American and European pressure, Sharon promised Bush not to assassinate him. Middle East Newsline reported that Secretary of State Colin Powell then approached Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia to provide Arafat safe haven. All refused.

On April 1, 2002, World Tribune.com reported that Morocco agreed to provide Arafat asylum. After insisting that 70 Hamas and Fatah colleagues accompany him, the Knesset rejected the proposal, arguing that he would be far more dangerous out of sight, operating a government-in-exile. A month later, both U.S. houses of Congress passed resolutions of overwhelming support for Israel and condemning Arafat as a “terrorist” and a “despot”.

On June 24th, from the White House Rose Garden, President Bush issued a critical foreign policy shift. In what analysts deemed “the death knell for Yasser Arafat,” Bush publicly called for regime change in Palestine. He later began to parrot Sharon’s rhetoric, saying the U.S. would no longer deal with Yasser Arafat, or acknowledge him as the Palestinians’ leader.

In the final months of 2002, Israeli experts advised U.S. Justice system lawyers how to legalize “targeted killings.” The February 7, 2003 The Jewish Forward reported on an unprecedented legal document developed for the U.S. by Israel. It contained a comprehensive set of justifications for state terror assassinations, and revealed the Bush administration’s involvement in such schemes. Bush now characterized terrorists caught — but denied rights to trial –as being “otherwise dealt with.” Israeli media also revealed that Mossad was training the U.S. military and CIA how to implement covert ‘hits’ with expertise gained fighting the Palestinians — car bombs, snipers, cell phone explosives, high-tech devices and poisoning — and how to disguise them as “unexplained events and accidents.”

Former PFLP official and longtime Arafat spokesman Abu Bassam Sharif received a letter in December 2002 from friends in the Israeli peace movement warning of a plot to poison Arafat. (The Guardian, December 16, 2004)

As a step towards regime change, Israel and the U.S. forced Arafat to appoint Mahmoud Abbas prime minister in February 2003. Abbas’s choice for minister of state security, Gazan Mohammed Dahlan, was favored by the Bush-Sharon team for his pledge to eliminate Palestinian resistance to Israeli attacks and settlements. According to the article “U.S. Quietly Backing Anti-Arafat Reform Movement” in Geostrategy-Direct.com, Americans “work with” Dahlan to fund and train his thousand-man militia for a coup d’état against Arafat by 2005. Arafat biographer Said Aburish noted that torture of prisoners thrived under Dahlan’s rule in the 1990’s. Arafat refused Dahlan’s appointment. Abbas resigned in September 2003 over control of the Palestinian Security Services.

Reacting to increased Palestinian attacks, in August 2003, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz declared “all-out war” on the militants whom he vowed “marked for death.” In mid September, Israel’s government passed a law to get rid of Arafat. Israel’s cabinet for political security affairs declared it “a decision to remove Arafat as an obstacle to peace.” Mofaz threatened, “We will choose the right way and the right time to kill Arafat.” Palestinian Minister Saeb Erekat told CNN he thought Arafat was the next target. CNN asked Sharon spokesman Ra’anan Gissan if the vote meant expulsion of Arafat. Gissan clarified, “It doesn’t mean that. The Cabinet has today resolved to remove this obstacle. The time, the method, the ways by which this will take place will be decided separately, and the security services will monitor the situation and make the recommendation about proper action.”

The Jerusalem Post (September 11, 2003) advocated: “We must kill Arafat because the world leaves us no alternative. When the breaking point arrives, there is no point in taking half measures. If we are to be condemned in any case, we might as well do it right…” Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said: “Arafat can no longer be a factor in what happens here. The question is: how are we going to do it? Expulsion is certainly one of the options, and killing is also one of the options”; and “Killing Arafat is an open choice for us, definitely one of the options.” Ariel Sharon: “Killing Arafat, more than any other act, would demonstrate that the tool of terrorism is unacceptable.”

The Israeli Defense Forces Central Command then refined “Operation New Leaf” — code word of the military operation for Arafat’s elimination and its aftermath. Updated repeatedly in the year before his death, the plan included methods for his killing and burial site, riot prevention, protection of settlements from Palestinian backlash, and even instructions for IDF soldiers “not to appear too joyful at his death” to avoid provoking grieving Palestinians. A propaganda plan was also formulated to deprive Arafat of a hero’s status through a non-combat, ‘natural’ death. Sharon spokesman Ra’anan Gissan said, “The issue is how to best remove this obstacle without making him a martyr.” IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon suggested, “We should kill Arafat softly… We must kill him softly and throw him out of the PA Presidential Palace; we must find an alternative leadership. I’m sure Mohammed Dahlan is qualified for this mission.”

In November 2003, Israel and the U.S. pressured the Palestinians to install new Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia to succeed Abbas. Qureia also battled Arafat to appoint Dahlan head of security. By February 2004, Palestinian legislators discovered that multimillionaire Qureia’s family business, Al Quds Cement, has been selling Israel its concrete to build the notorious Apartheid Wall. The UK Telegraph also reported Qureia company cement mixers making deliveries to the Maaleh Adunim Jewish settlements. In Gaza, cement merchants closely connected to Qureia through Dahlan reaped exorbitant profits manufacturing cement for Israeli construction projects. Both men are hailed in Washington as “new leadership we can work with.”

Responding to a double suicide attack planned in Gaza, Time Magazine reported that Sharon’s security cabinet decided on March 16, 2004 to execute Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin on March 21. Despite world outrage at his assassination, National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice defended it: “Let’s remember that Hamas is a terrorist organization and that Sheikh Yassin has himself personally, we believe, been involved in terrorist planning.”

Ariel Sharon’s White House visit on April 14, 2004 resulted in a deal with the Bush administration to radically alter the Middle East. In exchange for Israel’s Gaza pullout, the U.S. agreed to Sharon’s security request — the “dismantling” of a list of terror threats: Arafat, Nasrallah, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iranian nuclear capability. When Sharon presented Bush with “proof” that Arafat was responsible for the October 2003 attack on a U.S. convoy in Gaza killing three Americans, Bush finally acceded to Arafat’s targeted removal.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abubakr Al Qibri warned: “The United States bears responsibility for what happens, since after every visit by Sharon to Washington he commits more terrorism and more assassinations.”

Sharon then branded Arafat a “legitimate target.” “Whoever aims to kill Jews, whoever sends murderers to kill Jews, is ‘marked for death’.” He later threatened in the Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot: “We operated against Ahmed Yassin and Rantisi and some other murderers at a time that seemed right to us. On the subject of expelling Arafat we will behave according to the same principle: we will do it at a convenient time. As we behaved toward other murderers (Yassin and Rantisi), so we will behave toward Arafat.”

Ma’ariv published a terrorist ‘deck of cards’ from Sharon’s list of those “marked for death.” “Everyone is in our sights,” said Internal Security Minister Tsahi Hanegbi, “There is no immunity for anyone. And that means anyone — down to the last person.” Lt. General Moshe Ya’alon added that those on the list “understand it is nearing them.” Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom also warned that the removal of Arafat is “closer than ever.”

In July 2004, riots protesting Palestinian Authority corruption spread from Gaza to the West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus. According to World Tribune.com, Mohammed Dahlan, with U.S. help, had been coordinating the revolt to strengthen himself as a future successor to Arafat. The powerful lobby, American-Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC), stated: “International pressure coordinated with Palestinian opponents of Arafat’s rule could accelerate a Palestinian leadership change.”

In the U.S., a New York Post columnist quoted an Israeli official at the Republican National Convention in August 2004: “Arafat will die this year.” The Israeli continued, “I’ve never steered you wrong about the Middle East before. I know what I’m saying. Arafat dies this year… Don’t ask me more.”

On September 6, 2004, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz reiterated to Israel’s Army Radio Israel’s 2003 official decision to end Arafat’s reign: “The State of Israel will find the way and the right time to bring about the removal of Yasser Arafat from the region.”

Within a month, Arafat had become mysteriously ill. From the first announcement, the American press definitively portrayed Arafat as already dying. In Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority prevented his personal physician, Dr. Ashraf Al Kurdi, from examining Arafat until it was too late to save him or get an antidote. Al Kurdi said Arafat knew he was dying: “Yes, I actually heard from him in Ramallah that he thought he’d been poisoned.”

By November 11, 2004, Arafat was dead from undiagnosed causes. After examining his medical dossier, Arafat’s nephew Nasser Al Qidwa claimed Arafat was poisoned. In an interview at his Amman, Jordan office, Al Kurdi told me: “I suspect Arafat died of a killing poison, a catalyst.” Al Kurdi’s request for an autopsy was denied by the PA.

Addressing Al Jazeera, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal declared: “I accuse Israel of having poisoned the blood of Abu Ammar.” Referring to a 1997 Mossad attempt to poison him, Meshal said: “French and Arab doctors may not be able to find evidence, as they could not find proof in my blood when I was poisoned, but Israel was forced to bring an antidote after two of its agents were held in Jordan.”

The October 29, 2004 New York Post admitted: “Israel has been preparing for his demise for months, including his possible burial site.” In accordance with the propaganda dictates of Operation New Leaf, the last public image of Yasser Arafat alive was the antithesis of a symbolic warrior. Ariel Sharon told Ha’aretz: “It is feared that after his funeral Arafat will become a national hero and freedom-fighter.” The only photo of Arafat not in military fatigues, the NY Post showed him in baby blue pajamas, shriveled, weak, wearing a ‘dunce cap’ and looking like a pathetic child. Former Bush speechwriter David Frum utilized a frequent Mossad homosexual slur, asking “Does Yasser Arafat have AIDS?”

In January 2005, I requested an interview at the Palestinian Authority Information Ministry with the committee investigating Arafat’s death. “We have been ordered not to speak of this by our officials at the highest level.” Though Arafat was a world figure for two generations, investigation into his death has been banned. World governments and media remain strangely silent.

As a U.S. official said in 2002: “Arafat’s removal will pave the way for the emergence of moderate leadership” compliant to Israel’s security needs. The “new” Palestinian leadership of Abbas, Qureia, and Dahlan is the old team of corruption and collaboration, minus resistance. Comprised of leaders who “work well” for Israel and America, Israeli land theft for settlements will continue without obstacles…

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Palestine: Al-Aqsa Faces Biggest Threat Since Occupation of Jerusalem

By Malik Samara | Al-Akhbar | September 19, 2013

Not a day passes, it seems, without the occupation issuing some new regulation to Judaize al-Aqsa mosque. Today, Jews are being given unfettered access to one of Islam’s holiest sites, while restriction on Muslims increase by the day.

Ramallah – Thirteen years ago this month, when former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon brazenly entered the Haram al-Sharif, where the al-Aqsa mosque is located, he sparked a Palestinian intifada that lasted several years. Today, Jewish settlers enter the Muslim holy site at will, with legal cover from the highest echelons of the Zionist state.

Alongside calls for mass marches in Jerusalem on the occasion of the Sukkot Jewish holiday next week, the Knesset issued a law allowing “Jews to worship on the Temple Mount.” In a turbulent meeting of the Knesset’s committee for internal affairs last Monday, September 16, members voted to allow “Jewish worshipers” to enter the Temple Mount throughout the holidays, which last for a week.

All efforts have been made to isolate Jerusalem from the adjoining Palestinian areas, forcing it to face the impending disaster alone. This has been done by increasing the number of checkpoints that Palestinians from the West Bank must cross to enter the occupied city, while imposing age restrictions on those within the area occupied in 1948 wishing to attend Friday prayers at the holy mosque.

Israeli plans to divide the Haram al-Sharif between Jews and Muslims – as they did with Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron many years ago – are no longer a matter of conjecture among Israeli politicians, with Knesset members calling for designating certain days of worship for Jews and others for Muslims, thus laying the foundation for the eventual division of one of Islam’s holiest sites.

Some Israeli MPs have even begun to discuss the idea of allowing Jews into the mosque compound at all times, with access to all entrances available. This is as the occupation authorities plan to close all checkpoints leading from the West Bank and Gaza on the occasion of the Sukkot holiday, as they had done recently during Yom Kippur.

Palestinians are concerned that during this period, Jewish settlers and militants will be given free reign to enter the Haram. These concerns were only reinforced by calls within the Knesset that only Jews be allowed to enter the holy site during Jewish holidays.

Over Yom Kippur, the occupation rehearsed this scenario by restricting Muslims below the age of 50 from entering the mosque, while squares within the Haram were opened before Jewish settlers.

September 19, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

HOLOCAUST AMNESIA

By Michael Hoffman | On the Contrary | September 19, 2012

The 30th anniversary of the Sabra and Chatila massacre in Lebanon has passed with hardly any notice. Several hundred Palestinians were butchered by Israeli proxies in Lebanon on Sept. 16, 1982. Throughout July and August of that year, the Israeli air force, under the command of Ariel Sharon, carpet-bombed clearly marked civilian centers in the city of Beirut, including nursing homes, hospitals and apartment blocks. In August of 1982 the attacks escalated to terror bombing of downtown Beirut in a true holocaust (death by fire).

The Israelis commit war crimes and atrocities with impunity. They know that after the initial editorial outrage, their mass murder will never form part of a permanent collective ritual of commemoration similar to the eternal remembrance and teaching of the Nazi persecution of Judaic people under the rubric “the Holocaust.”

No one can comprehend or fully account for this Zionist mentality of callous indifference toward the murder victims of the Israeli military without being conversant with Talmudic culture and ethics; at the heart of which is the concept of Judaic racial and spiritual superiority. That is the reason why the conscience-on-its-sleeve liberal media turns its back on the remembrance of the slaughter of the Arabs by the Israelis.

On the 30th anniversary of the Sabra and Chatila massacre the New York Times printed, with regard to the visit to Lebanon by Pope Benedict XVI, “Lebanon is still rebuilding from a devastating 1975-1990 civil war fought largely on sectarian lines…” (16 Sept. 2012, p. A14 print edition only; online edition has been bowdlerized).

“Civil war”? Was it the Lebanese who bombed Beirut from jets throughout the summer of 1982? Actually it was Sharon’s aerial terrorists, but that fact is forgotten and covered up. The NY Times implies the Lebanese did it to themselves. How perverse.

Notice that the reference to “rebuilding” Lebanon is limited to destruction perpetrated during the years 1975-1990. No mention is made of the massive destruction Israeli bombs, rockets, missiles and artillery fire visited upon Lebanon in the summer of 2006 in the course of which hundreds of Arab children were killed and thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed.

Just before the Israelis withdrew in 2006 they dropped tens of thousands of land mines all over the Lebanese countryside to guarantee years of crippling and maiming injuries, mostly of children who attempt to pick up the bomblets, thinking they are toys.

A question for the New York Times: is Lebanon “rebuilding” from the Israeli holocaust in 2006? Apparently not, because your timeline stops at 1990. The entire Israeli war in Lebanon of 2006 has been omitted from the New York Times’ remembrance.

In the same issue that makes these deliberate and flagrant omissions, there is an obituary for “Holocaust Survivor” Eli Zborowski, who is celebrated for supporting “Holocaust Remembrance.” In his N.Y. Times’ obituary we read, “In 2000, when the pope visited Yad Vashem, some criticized him for declining to comment directly on the church’s silence about Hitler’s crimes during the war…” (16 Sept. 2012, p. A25; [published online Sept. 12]).

Always these self-righteous accusations in the face of Judaism’s own extraordinary hypocrisy!

What about the “silence” of the New York Times concerning Israeli crimes during the First and Second Lebanese wars of 1982 and 2006?

The explanation of the disparity between suffering remembered, and suffering dismissed, is that “Jews” are human beings, and deserve commemoration, reparations and remembrance. Whereas the Arabs are sub-humans who deserve obscurity, anonymity and ignominy. Or as the Talmud informs its followers: “You are called men, but the gentiles are not men” (BT Bava Metzia 114b).

September 20, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Details emerge of US role in Sabra-Shatila massacre

Al-Akhbar | September 17, 2012

Israel duped the United Stated into believing that “thousands of terrorists” remained in west Beirut following the expulsion of Palestinian fighters 30 years ago, providing cover for the 1982 massacre in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, according to recently declassified Israeli documents.

The documents include verbatim transcripts of meetings between US and Israeli officials before and during the three-day massacre led by the right-wing Lebanese Christian Phalange militia that left roughly 2,000 people dead, mostly children, women and elderly men.

“[The transcripts] reveal that the Israelis misled American diplomats about events in Beirut and bullied them into accepting the spurious claim that thousands of “terrorists” were in the camps,” The New York Times, which obtained the documents, reported.

“Most troubling, when the United States was in a position to exert strong diplomatic pressure on Israel that could have ended the atrocities, it failed to do so,” the newspaper added.

The Palestinian fighters had previously been evacuated from Lebanon in a US-coordinated effort whereby they provided assurances to protect the camp’s residents, which included both Palestinians and Lebanese.

On 16 September 1982, the first day of the massacre, US envoy to the Middle East Morris Draper met with Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon who justified Israel’s occupation of west Beirut by claiming that “2,000 to 3,000 terrorists” remained in that part of the city.

Draper, according to the documents, was furious to learn that Sharon wanted to allow the Christian militiamen into west Beirut to root out what he claimed were terrorists.

Later that evening, word began to spread in Israel that a massacre was taking place in Sabra and Shatila.

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister David Levy reportedly remarked: “I know what the meaning of revenge is for [the Phalanges], what kind of slaughter. Then no one will believe we went in to create order there, and we will bear the blame.”

The following day, while the massacre continued, Draper, who had not yet learned that the Phalangists had entered the camp, met with high ranking Israeli officials including Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

Shamir had known of the slaughter in the camp, but failed to inform the US diplomat.

Sharon, also at the meeting, continued to insist that the “terrorists” in west Beirut needed “mopping up.”

When Draper demanded that the Israeli forces immediately pull out of the area, Sharon responded with outrage: “I just don’t understand, what are you looking for? Do you want the terrorists to stay? Are you afraid that somebody will think that you were in collusion with us? Deny it. We denied it.”

According to the transcripts, Draper continued to insist that the Israelis leave, but eventually backed off once they agreed to a “gradual withdrawal” to allow for the Lebanese Army to enter the city.

The Israelis insisted, however, that they wait 48 hours before allowing the plan to take effect.

Draper reminded the Israelis that the US had facilitated the departure of Palestinian fighters from Beirut in order to prevent Israelis from occupying west Beirut. “You should have stayed out,” Draper said at the meeting.

The argument persisted, but it ultimately allowed Israel the cover it needed to allow the Christian fighters to continue its slaughter of the camp.

By the next day, September 18, when details of the massacre had become widely known, US President Ronald Reagan expressed “outrage and revulsion over the murders.”

US Secretary of State George Shults later admitted his country bore partial responsibility for the massacre since they “took the Israelis and Lebanese at their word.”

September 17, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 3 Comments

The Massacre at Sabra and Shatila, Thirty Years Later

By SONJA KARKAR | CounterPunch | September 16, 2012

It happened thirty years ago – 16 September 1982.  A massacre so awful that  people who know about it cannot forget it.  The photos are gruesome  reminders – charred, decapitated, indecently violated corpses, the smell of  rotting flesh, still as foul to those who remember it as when they were  recoiling from it all those years ago. For the victims and the handful of  survivors, it was a 36-hour holocaust without mercy.  It was deliberate, it  was planned and it was overseen.  But to this day, the killers have gone  unpunished.

Sabra and Shatila – two Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon – were the  theatres for this staged slaughter.  The former is no longer there and the  other is a ghostly and ghastly reminder of man’s inhumanity to men, women  and children – more specifically, Israel’s inhumanity, the inhumanity of the  people who did Israel’s bidding and the world’s inhumanity for pretending it  was of no consequence. There were international witnesses – doctors, nurses,  journalists – who saw the macabre scenes and have tried to tell the world in  vain ever since.

Each act was barbarous enough on its own to warrant fear and loathing.  It  was human savagery at its worst and Dr Ang Swee Chai was an eye witness as  she worked with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society on the dying and the  wounded amongst the dead.  What she saw was so unimaginable that the  atrocities committed need to be separated from each other to even begin  comprehending the viciousness of the crimes. [1]

People Tortured. Blackened bodies smelling of roasted flesh from the power  shocks that had convulsed their bodies before their hearts gave out – the  electric wires still tied around their lifeless limbs

People with gouged out eye sockets.  Faces unrecognisable with the gaping  holes that had plunged them into darkness before their lives were thankfully  ended.

Women raped.  Not once – but two, three, four times – horribly violated,  their legs shamelessly ripped apart with not even the cover of clothing to  preserve their dignity at the moment of death.

Children dynamited alive. So many body parts ripped from their tiny torsos,  so hard to know to whom they belonged – just mounds of bloodied limbs  amongst the tousled heads of children in pools of blood.

Families executed.  Blood, blood and more blood sprayed on the walls of  homes where whole families had been axed to death in a frenzy or lined up  for a more orderly execution.

There were also journalists who were there in the aftermath and who had  equally gruesome stories to tell, none of which made the sort of screaming  front page headlines that should have caused lawmakers to demand immediate  answers.  What they saw led them to write shell-shocked accounts that have  vanished now into the archives, but are no less disturbing now. These  accounts too need to be individually absorbed, lest they be lumped together  as just the collective dead rather than the systematic torture and killing  of individual, innocent human beings.

Women gunned down while cooking in their kitchens. [2]  The headless body of  a baby in diapers lying next to two dead women. [3]  An infant, its tiny  legs streaked with blood, shot in the back by a single bullet. [4]   Slaughtered babies, their bodies blackened as they decomposed, tossed into  rubbish heaps together with Israeli army equipment and empty bottles of  whiskey. [5]  An old man castrated, with flies thick upon his torn  intestines. [6]  Children with their throats slashed. [7]  Mounds of rotting  corpses bloated in the heat – young boys all shot at point-blank range. [8]

And most numbing of all are the recollections of the survivors whose  experiences were so shockingly traumatic that to recall them must have been  painful beyond all imaginings.   One survivor, Nohad Srour, 35 said:

“I was carrying my one year-old baby sister and she was yelling “Mama!  Mama!” then suddenly nothing.  I looked at her and her brain had fallen out  of her head and down my arm. I looked at the man who shot us. I’ll never  forget his face. Then I felt two bullets pierce my shoulder and finger.  I  fell.  I didn’t lose consciousness, but I pretended to be dead.”[9]

The statistics of those killed vary, but even according to the Israeli  military, the official count was 700 people killed while Israeli journalist,  Amnon Kapeliouk put the figure at 3,500. [10] The Palestinian Red Crescent  Society put the number killed at over 2,000.[11]  Regardless of the numbers,  they would not and could not mitigate what are clear crimes against  humanity.

Fifteen years later, Robert Fisk, the journalist who had been one of the  first on the scene, said:

“Had Palestinians massacred 2,000 Israelis 15 years ago, would anyone doubt  that the world’s press and television would be remembering so terrible a  deed this morning?  Yet this week, not a single newspaper in the United  States – or Britain for that matter – has even mentioned the anniversary of  Sabra and Shatila.”[12] 

Thirty years later it is no different.

The political developments 

What happened must be set against the background of a Lebanon that had been  invaded by the Israeli army only months earlier, supposedly in ‘retaliation’  for the attempted assassination of the Israeli Ambassador in London on 4  June 1982.  Israel attributed the attempt to Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation  Organisation (PLO) then resident in Beirut. In reality, it was a rival  militant group headed by Abu Nidal.   Israel wanted to oust the PLO from  Lebanon altogether and on 6 June 1982, Israel began its devastating assault  on the Lebanese and Palestinian civilian population in the southern part of  Lebanon.  Lebanese government casualty figures numbered the dead at around  19,000 with some 30,000 wounded, but these numbers are hardly accurate  because of the mass graves and other bodies lost in the rubble. [13]

By 1 September, a cease-fire had been mediated by United States envoy Philip  Habib, and Arafat and his men surrendered their weapons and were evacuated  from Beirut with guarantees by the US that the civilians left behind in the  camps would be protected by a multinational peacekeeping force.  That  guarantee was not kept and the vacuum then created, paved the way for the  atrocities that followed.

As soon as the peacekeeping force was withdrawn, the then Israeli Defence  Minister Ariel Sharon moved to root out some “2,000 terrorists” he claimed  were still hiding in the  refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila.  After totally  surrounding the refugee camps with tanks and soldiers, Sharon ordered the  shelling of the camps and the bombardment continued throughout the afternoon  and into the evening of 15 September leaving the “mopping-up” of the camps  to the Lebanese right-wing Christian militia, known as the Phalangists.  The  next day, the Phalangists – armed and trained by the Israeli army – entered  the camps and proceeded to massacre the unarmed civilians while Israel’s  General Yaron and his men watched the entire operations.  More grotesquely,  the Israeli army ensured there was no lull in the 36 hours of killings and  illuminated the area with flares at night and tightened their cordon around  the camps to make sure that no civilian could escape the terror that had  been unleashed.

Inquiries, charges and off scot-free

Although Israel’s Kahan Commission of Inquiry did not find any Israeli  directly responsible, it did find that Sharon bore “personal responsibility”  for “not ordering appropriate measures for preventing or reducing the danger  of massacre” before sending the Phalangists into the camps. It, therefore,  lamely recommended that the Israeli prime minister consider removing him  from office. [14] Sharon resigned but remained as Minister without portfolio  and joined two parliamentary commissions on defence and Lebanese affairs.  There is no doubt, as Chomsky points out “that the inquiry was not intended  for people who have a prejudice in favour of truth and honesty”, but it  certainly gained support for Israel in the US Congress and among the public.  [15]  It took an International Commission of Inquiry headed by Sean MacBride  to find that Israel was “directly responsible” because the camps were under  its jurisdiction as an occupying power. [16] Yet, despite the UN describing  the heinous operation as a “criminal massacre” and declaring it an act of  genocide [17], no one was prosecuted.

It was not until 2001 that a law suit was filed in Belgium by the survivors  of the massacre and relatives of the victims against Sharon alleging his  personal responsibility. However, the court did not allow for “universal  jurisdiction” – a principle which was intended to remove safe havens for war  criminals and allow their prosecution across states. The case was won on  appeal and the trial allowed to proceed, but without Sharon who by then was  prime minister of Israel and had immunity.  US interference led to the  Belgian Parliament gutting the universal jurisdiction law and by the time  the International Criminal Court was established in The Hague the following  year, the perpetrators of the Sabra and Shatila massacre could no longer be  tried because its terms of reference did not allow it to hear cases of war  crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide pre-dating 1 July 2002. Neither  Sharon nor those who carried out the massacres have ever been punished for  their horrendous crimes.

The bigger picture

The length of time since these acts were carried out should be no impediment  to exposing the truth.  More than 60 years after the Nazi atrocities against  the Jews in Europe, the world still mourns and remembers and erects  monuments and museums to that violent holocaust.   How they are done, to  whom they are done and to how many does not make the crimes any more or less  heinous. They can never be justified even on the strength of one state’s  rationale that another people ought to be punished, or worse still, are  simply inferior or worthless beings. It should lead all of us to question on  whose judgment are such decisions made and how can we possibly justify such  crimes at all?

The atrocities committed in the camps of Sabra and Shatila should be put in  the context of an ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people.  The  MacBride report found that these atrocities “were not inconsistent with  wider Israeli intentions to destroy Palestinian political will and cultural  identity.” [17] Since Deir Yassin and the other massacres of 1948, those who  survived have joined hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fleeing a litany  of massacres committed in 1953, 1967, and the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, and  the killing continues today. The most recent being the 2008-2009 Gaza massacre –  that 3 week merciless onslaught, a festering sore without relief as the people are  further punished by an impossible siege that denies them their most basic rights.

Thus were the victims and survivors of the Sabra and Shatila massacre gathered  up in the perpetual nakba of the slaughtered, the dispossessed, the displaced and  the discarded  – a pattern of ethnic cleansing perpetrated under the Zionist plan  to finally and forever extinguish Palestinian society and its people.

This is why we must remember Sabra and Shatila, thirty years on.

Sonja Karkar is the founder of Women for Palestine (WFP), a Melbourne-based  human rights group and co-founder of Australians for Palestine (AFP), an  advocacy group that provides a voice for Palestine at all levels of  Australian society.  She is the editor of the website  http://www.australiansforpalestine.com . Her email address is   sonjakarkar@womenforpalestine.org

Footnotes:

[1]  Dr Ang Swee Chai, “From Beirut to Jerusalem”, Grafton Books, London, 1989

[2]  James MacManus, Guardian, 20 September 1982

[3] Loren Jenkins, Washington Post, 20 September 1982

[4]  Elaine Carey, Daily Mail, 20 September 1982

[5]  Robert Fisk, “Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War”, London: Oxford University Press, 1990   [6] Robert Fisk, ibid.

[7] Robert Fisk, ibid.

[8] Robert Fisk, ibid.

[9]  Lebanese Daily Star, 16 September 1998

[10] Amnon Kapeliouk, “Sabra & Chatila – Inquiry into a Massacre”, November 1982

[11] Schiff and Ya’ari,, Israel’s Lebanon War, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1984,

[12]  Robert Fisk, Fifteen Years After the Bloodbath, The World turns its Back, shaml.org, 1997   [13] Noam Chomsky, “The Fatal Triangle” South End Press, Cambridge MA, p.221

[14] The Complete Kahan Commission Report, Princeton, Karz Cohl, 1983, p. 125     (Hereafter, the Kahan Commission Report).   [15]  Chomsky, ibid. p.406

[16]  The Report of the International Commission to Enquire into Reported Violations of International Law by Israel during Its Invasion of the Lebanon, Sean MacBride, 1983 (referred to as the International Commission of Inquiry or MacBride report)   [17]  United Nations General Assembly Resolution, 16 December 1982

[18] MacBride report, ibid. p.179

September 16, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

WARS FOR ISRAEL: A REMINDER OF WHO IS GIVING THE MARCHING ORDERS

By Damian Lataan | February 07, 2012

As the West prepares to march off to yet another war in the Middle East, we should perhaps remind ourselves of who is giving the West their marching orders.

In February 2003, just weeks before the US and their allies launched their attack on Iraq and her peoples, a delegation of US congressmen, together with the US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, a well known pro-Zionist and neoconservative war-hawk, were in Israel at the invitation of the Israeli government then led by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Addressing the congressmen, Sharon told them ‘that Iran, Libya and Syria should be stripped of weapons of mass destruction after Iraq’. Later, Sharon told John Bolton ‘that Israel was concerned about the security threat posed by Iran, and stressed that it was important to deal with Iran even while American attention was focused on Iraq’.

Things didn’t quite work out as planned in Iraq. The Iraqi populace, instead of greeting the coalition forces as ‘liberating armies’ as they marched up the road to Baghdad, chose instead to resist the invaders. The neocons who had insisted on the war and were hoping to get their man Ahmed Chalabi into the Iraqi presidency before the summer holidays, found instead that their simplistic fantasies about the venture being a ‘cakewalk’ were turning into a nightmare that is still being played out today nine years later.

But all this hasn’t dulled the neoconservative’s enthusiasm to belatedly do as Ariel Sharon has demanded. Libya has been taken care of; Syria looks like it’s going to get the same treatment; and the whole shebang will reach a crescendo when the Final Confrontation against Iran occurs at some time in the future – and, judging by the way things are going at the moment, it could be in the very near future.

The point I really want to make here is that all of the events of the last twelve years or so haven’t been a series of unrelated or spontaneous occurrences but, rather, have been part of a grand plan carefully instigated by Israeli Zionists and their supporters in the US and around the world designed to eliminate all of Israel’s enemies who so far have successfully been able to resist the Zionist dream of creating a Greater Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people.

February 7, 2012 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment