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69 years ago today – The Deir Yassin Massacre Israel Forces Murder over 100 Palestinians Including Women and Children

By Dina Elmuti | American Herald Tribune | April 9, 2017

I grew up in a country far removed from the horrors of Deir Yassin, but I’ve lived with the snapshots of the massacre my entire life. My grandmother’s Nakba trauma has permeated my inner life, and I’ve known the world of acute agony and the mockery of what human life has been reduced to for the Palestinian people. Every massacre and assault carried out in Zionism’s calculated desire for control adds another layer to the trans-generational transmission of trauma of Palestinians everywhere. Like the bombs that Israel drops on civilian populations, dispersing their incendiary fallout in distant places long after the initial explosion, the psychological trauma continues.

When they said that there would come a time when the old would die and the young would forget, they didn’t realize that Palestinians who grow up fluent in a language of trauma and resistance could never forget. But more importantly, they refuse to.

The significance of the need to preserve the memory of what happened at Deir Yassin remains woven into our DNA. It’s a name that flickers at the edge of our consciousness, resonating in the Palestinian collective memory with chilling significance. My grandmother’s story has taken up residence in my soul. It became the blood coursing through my veins, reverberating in my heart and graven in my memories.

The collective Palestinian narrative is written in indelible link and though it’s a story of unimaginable terror and devastation, shattered dreams and decimated hopes, it’s also one of extraordinary sumud (steadfastness) and resistance. It’s a story that remains unfinished and determined, standing with hope defiant.

Operation Nahshon

My grandmother was nine years-old on the morning of Friday, April 9th 1948 when the Zionist terrorist organizations – the Irgun and Lehi, with the agreement of the Haganah in Jerusalem, carried out Operation Nahshon and opened fire on the villagers of Deir Yassin. By evening, nearly 110 villagers were executed and the village was cleared. But the evidence of the Zionist criminality lay in the rivers of blood and the disemboweled, dismembered, and disfigured bodies of men, women and children.

The villagers endured barbarity at the hands, boot heels, and the edge of bloodied knives of Zionist terrorists who rounded up villagers executing them in decimation for crimes they had never committed. Men were paraded around on trucks before being taken to the village quarry and shot execution style.

Menachem Begin, the leader of the Irgun at the time, consciously inflated the death toll of the massacre from just over 100 to 254 to instill a sense of incoherent terror within people in hopes of eliminating and erasing the Palestinian people from the landscape and from human consciousness – root and branch, bone and blood. News of the massacre triggered the mass, forced exile that emptied Palestine of 80% of its native Arab population. Over 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from the only homes they had ever known. Today, displaced Palestinians remain the largest and longest-standing refugee population in the world.

The beginning of the Nakba was more than an atrocity; it was completely and intentionally genocidal.

It’s been 69 years since the Deir Yassin massacre and the world has moved past it, but its selective amnesia remains present. Its survivors, however, have never forgotten that Palestine continues to be left with human devastation on an unimaginable scale by Israel in its successive operations and assaults. In the litany of Israel’s gruesome crimes and indiscriminate massacres, Deir Yassin was not the most massive in scale but it’s the one that reduced the Palestinian people to ungrievable, dehumanized convenient objects of hatred and violent retribution whenever convenient. It became the precondition for the calculative, prolonged violence and subhuman slaughter of Palestinians. This became the operative philosophy of the Zionist regime that exists today.

“Man’s inhumanity to man” – A poignant irony

Deir Yassin is one of the few Palestinian villages where the Zionist state attempted to erase its inhabitants, but kept its homes and buildings completely intact. Behind the security cameras, guard posts and fence where my family’s village and home once stood now exists a closed psychiatric facility – Kfar Shaul – which houses people with severe mental illness. The irony is not lost on me: The birth of a state predicated on the wholesale slaughter of innocent people on command, a state that has attempted to anesthetize itself to death and depravity, would surely drive anyone of conscience insane. Another breathtaking irony chills my bones every time I stand on the stolen land of my ancestors. Israel’s official Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, is built in panoramic view of Deir Yassin, standing as a haunting, insidious testament to “never forget man’s inhumanity to man” in absolute denial of the souls of martyrs buried deep beneath.

Zionist vindictiveness created a deeply-rooted psychological transference onto a people who had nothing to do with the Nazi Holocaust. Prior to 1948, Deir Yassin was a relatively prosperous and peaceful village, and its residents lived in peace with their Jewish neighbors in nearby villages, especially those in Givat Shaul whom they had signed a peace pact with. My grandmother recalls a different time when Arabs and Jews lived as neighbors attending each other’s weddings and celebrations, smoking arghila, eating dried watermelon seeds, sharing news, and going to the cinema together with their Jewish friends. The Orthodox community of Givat Shaul was one of the first to help the survivors of Deir Yassin following the Irgun-Lehi assault. This was never a conflict that has existed for thousands of years. The Palestinians have never had a problem with Judaism; it’s with injustice.

But here’s the thing about stories of survival: They affirm an inescapable truth that reacquaints both victims and perpetrators with memory, with history, with life, and with justice. Aggressors cannot seem to live with the inconvenient truth of their guilty history but survivors refuse to live without it. The people of the world continue to demonstrate that they are so capable of conveniently forgetting the murderous atrocities in which their fellow peers have participated, so it becomes morally imperative and essential, at the very least, to regularly remind them of it.

Palestine has never been a land without a people. It has always been home to a rich landscape filled with a beautiful people, with their own native land, language, and holy sites at the center of their religions. The Zionists tried to expel a people and attempt to scatter a people into oblivion, for they learned from colonizers before them that there is no precedent for a scattered people’s remaining a people. Their dispersion meant their disappearance. Or so they thought.

Tell the stories

The late Dr. Edward Said once said, “To recall Deir Yassin is not just to dwell on past disasters, but to understand who we are and where we are going. Without it we are simply lost.”

My grandmother’s face aches with despair as she narrates the horror and trauma of Deir Yassin.  Her body has kept score for the past sixty-nine years. She has been acutely aware of the sense of displacement dully throbbing with determination inside the dark spaces between her organs and bones, haunted by a history that has sat uncomfortably out of joint for a lifetime. The emotional pain of displacement and dislocation hurts like no other.

The collective inventory of the Palestinian people rests on our shoulders. To never forget the incomprehensible violence and intolerable pain, the extraordinary valor and the steadfastness that have defined Palestinians. It is our duty to record of every life lived, every sentence spoken, every word transmitted still reverberating within it. As the story of the massacre moves on in memory, the aim of remembering the atrocity and bearing witness takes on new meaning. The words of our parents and grandparents remain a talisman that will continue to be passed down for generations.  These are the stories that teach us resilience, joy, hope and incarnation.

The Nakba continues

What drove the exterminatory impulses of the Zionists was not only the contempt that branded millions of Palestinians as dispensable and sub-human, but also the ideologically pervasive mixture of terror and hatred that continues to blame the Palestinians for all of Israel’s ills and seeks their destruction as a matter of life and death in the interests of the Jewish people’s survival. This is the politics and colonial neurosis of Zionism. Israel justifies its policy of mass eradication through its demagogic abuse of portraying itself the perpetual victim. And for those who don’t understand the sadistic nature of the Israeli settler colonialist violence, the only mention of Israel will continue through the perpetual victim narrative, nothing more than a kind of ersatz victory every time. No matter what Israel has ever done, it’s because they’re always defending themselves – armed with bombs and artillery that unearth entire societies – against the Palestinians. Everything Israel ever does is painted as reactionary under the normalization of Zionist brutality.

Israel has a very finely-tuned feel for how many atrocities it can get away with before the world reacts with revulsion. But when entire families are butchered, immolated[DE1], bombed to oblivion upon breaking their fasts[DE2], when mass murder has become an annual event, when the reprise of internment camps and the reinstitution of torture become acts of policy, where were the cries of “Never again”?

The truth is that for the Palestinian people, the truer shout is not “Never again” but “Again and again and again.”

The post-Holocaust vow that genocide would never again be tolerated has long been hollow. The Palestinian people are living proof that murder looks on its victims with a casual eye. The extraordinary and soul-crushing pain that the Palestinian people have endured, for nearly seventy years now, has been perceived as just and mutable.

The Nakba did not penetrate the world consciousness in the same manner as the Holocaust. Slaughtering people, village by village, didn’t seem too high a price to pay, nor did it appear inhumane. These origins contain the historical seeds of genocide. The silence absorbed the lack of noise with a lack of sound so potent that it blackened this world with something so much richer than Zionist hate. Since Deir Yassin, we’ve known what man is capable of: the silent acquiescence in genocide of another people.

The Nakba never ended. It is an ongoing catastrophe. 

Justice and only justice

From its inception, Israel has had an insatiable addiction to blood, pouring more bodies into pits of slaughter never allowing the dead to rest in peace. But peace can never be built on the blood and bone of others. The robotic mass annihilation of the Palestinians had brought human bloodlust to a climax which nobody had considered possible by the victims of the Nazi genocide. Zionists have relied on decades of distortion and deceit, but what they always forget is that the millions of bodies have buried them more than anyone else. With each assault on the most vulnerable, disenfranchised, and traumatized people in which Israel pours endless young bodies into pits of death, they follow it. With every massacre, entire generations are revolutionized and filled with more conviction and sumud.

A truly “free” state can never exist when it’s enslaved to the organized aggression it has chained itself to. One day, Israelis will realize the ceaseless turmoil disrupting their peace has nothing to do with opposition to a Jewish state but is rooted in the fact that no human beings anywhere are created to accept injustice so casually. There will come a time when the world will stop asking the Palestinian people to stop resisting their oppression when the boots of the oppressor remains on their throats. The Palestinian people remain the only colonized and oppressed people who are constantly told to guarantee the security and rights of their occupiers and oppressors, who continue to be held responsible for nothing.

While Israeli expansion, expulsion, colonization, and the indefinite justification for violent retaliation under apocalyptic conditions continue, Palestinians are asked to concede and give more. Each year, their beloved homeland and rights wither away, like a diseased heart, speckled, clotted, and hollowed out. A homeland annulled. No two-state delusion will ever be a viable solution. There will be no peace in Israel and Palestinian until a modicum of justice is achieved for the Palestinians.

Our voices will not be muted by dispossession, expulsion, trauma, and denial. In attempting to erase us, the reality created by the Zionists became a fertile soil for the expression of steadfast resistance and perseverance. No matter how many innocent Palestinians are rounded up and executed, disappeared and silenced, there will always be more of us out there: living, excelling, falling in love, getting married, having children to pass on our narrative to. That resistance is what continues to ensure that ‘never again’ is not hollow.

Dina is a first-generation Palestinian-American living in Chicago. She works in the States and overseas with an NGO for victims of torture in the Occupied Territories of Palestine (Ramallah).

April 9, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Guardian’s Peter Beaumont “Piles on” Ken Livingstone, Mangles Nazi-Era and Zionist History

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | May 1, 2016

Yesterday, I noted the special relish the Guardian and Haaretz, erstwhile liberal publications, are taking in savaging the UK Labor Party’s left, in the person of one-time London mayor, Ken Livingstone. Given the hundreds of thousands of words and gallons of ink spilled in the vain effort to turn the Labor left into anti-Semites, the current atmosphere in England strikes me as the Night of the Long Knives, when the SS took its revenge on its enemies within the Nazi movement and solidified its hold on the Party.

Now, the Guardian’s Israel correspondent, Peter Beaumont, has gotten into the act. He’s written an odd article that continues the attack on Livingstone, calling his argument “dubious history.” But it does so from a strange angle. Beaumont reviews one of the major pieces of historical evidence raised by Livingstone in his fateful interview, in which the latter said that “Hitler supported Zionism.” I refer to the Haavara Agreement, by which the Yishuv negotiated the ransom of German Jews in return for the Reich confiscating their property and using it to fuel Germany’s pre-World War II military buildup. Beaumont’s purpose seems to be to both acknowledge the validity of the argument that the Zionists collaborated with the Nazis, while at the same time undercutting it.  He calls Livingstone’s invocation of it a “twisted kernel of historical truth.”

In the process, the Guardian reporter engages in petulant schoolmarm tactics like criticizing Livingstone for saying the Agreement was negotiated in 1932, when it was negotiated in 1933; and criticizing Livingstone for saying the Agreement was negotiated between Nazi Germany and “Israel,” when the Yishuv didn’t become Israel until 1948 (it was the Palestinian Mandate before then). These are facts that an expert on Zionist history or a PhD student should know. But given the fact-free zone through which MK anti-Semite Inquisitors like John Mann are floating, I think we can safely cut Livingstone a bit of slack.

Beaumont tries to downgrade the significance of Haavara by saying that it was “deeply controversial,” as if this controversy lets the Yishuv off the moral hook for negotiating it in the first place.  Of course it would be justified if Beaumont could show that the Zionist leadership renounced the Agreement or whether key leaders protested against it publicly. But nothing of the sort happened.

There are rumors that one of the key negotiators of Haavara, Chaim Arlosoroff, was assassinated (he was murdered shortly after he returned from a negotiation session with the Nazis) because of his role. But this has never been proven. And even if it had been, the murder was likely committed by rightists Lehi, which itself sought to collaborate with the Nazis.

Beaumont also obscures the historical record by saying Haavara was neogiated ” between Germany and German Zionists.” No, it was an agreement negotiated between the Yishuv and the Nazis. Since I’m not a historian of the period it’s entirely possible German Jews were involved. But eliding Yishuv participation is distorting history in an attempt to lessen its culpability.

Beaumont comes up short historically in this passage as well:

The Haavara agreement was designed to encourage the emigration of Jews from Germany in line with National Socialist policies, but it did not have in mind the foundation of a Jewish state in Palestine, a key tenet of Zionism.

That is something like saying I eat ice cream to provide nourishment to my body, but not for the pleasure of eating it. Of course, eating ice cream provides nourishment.  But one important reason for doing so is the pleasure of the eating. So in the case of the Nazis, arguing that the reason they agreed to Haavara had nothing to do with Palestine is simply wrong.

Beaumont continues this false argument with the following: “Hitler wanted neither Jews in Germany nor in their own state.”

The Nazis knew the German Jews who emigrated would go to Palestine. Had they really objected to this, they could have done so as part of the negotiations. They could have forced the Yishuv to permit the Jews to emigrate to other countries in addition to Palestine. But they didn’t. The Nazis knew where these Jews were headed and accepted this. Thus the Nazis did provide support for the “Jewish state in Palestine.”

This certainly wasn’t their primary purpose in doing the deal. But it was a clear and known result of the deal.

None other than SS chief, Reinhard Heydrich wrote this in 1935 (thanks to Shraga Elam for forwarding this historical gem):

“‘National Socialism has no intention of attacking the Jewish people in any way. On the contrary, the recognition of Jewry as a racial community based on blood, and not as a religious one, leads the German government to guarantee the racial separateness of this community without any limitations. The government finds itself in complete agreement with the great spiritual movement within Jewry itself, the so-called Zionism, with its recognition of the solidarity of Jewry throughout the world and the rejection of all assimilationist ideas. On this basis, Germany undertakes measures that will surely play a significant role in the future in the handling of the Jewish problem around the world.’

Göring’s January 24, 1939, note to the Interior Ministry gave Heydrich the authority to determine which parts of the world were the most suitable destinations for Jewish emigrants. The SS had consistently favored Jewish emigration to Palestine and would continue to do so with its enhanced authority in emigration policy.”

This passage is from Francis R. Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1985. For further historical evidence on this issue, see Shraga’s terrific culling of sources here.

Let’s introduce another inconvenient piece of historical evidence that rebuts Beaumont’s claims. Writing in 1932, the Palestine Post (predecessor of the Jerusalem Post ) published this piece from the Jewish Forward via the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, in which thugs clad in Nazi uniforms assaulted Jews in the Berlin Underground shouting: “Jews to Palestine!” If the Nazis rejected the legitimacy of Palestine, they could’ve shouted simply: “Jews Out!” or “Jews to America.” But they associated German Jewish emigration with the Jewish homeland, Palestine. So one wonders why it’s so important for Beaumont to argue that the Nazis didn’t recognize the legitimacy of Palestine as a destination for German Jewry.

To buttress his argument, Beaumont introduces the claim that Hitler opposed a state for the Jews:

Indeed, by late 1937 an anti-Nazi German official involved in administering the agreement suggested that fear in Nazi circles that it might lead to a Jewish state, to which Hitler was implacably opposed, was leading to suggestions “it should be terminated.”

I have no doubt that this “anti-Nazi” official exists, but Beaumont neither tells us who he is nor does he offer a source for this claim.  So it’s hard to judge anything about it.  But here is the unvarnished historical truth: the Nazis pursued a policy of partnership with the Zionist leadership almost until 1939. Eichmann himself visited Palestine on a fact-finding mission studying the success in implementing the Haavara Agreement.

Further, whether or not someone feared Haavara might be terminated, it wasn’t. So the claim that Hitler opposed the creation of a Jewish state is irrelevant. If he did, he never let this opposition prevent him from agreeing to collaborate with that future state’s leadership.

In short, the Yishuv’s position in agreeing to Haavara sacrificed any moral high-ground to the cold, hard calculation of saving Jews who would populate Palestine and aid the leadership in their struggle with the Palestinian Arabs to dominate the demographic landscape there. Haavara was collaboration pure and simple. Of course, there are legitimate reasons the Zionists agreed to it. But in doing so they sacrificed morality and also strengthened the Nazi war machine for its coming battles.

Beaumont also omits another key piece of historical evidence of Zionist collusion with the Nazis. The far-right Irgun, the leading political Opposition to the Yishuv leadership, went even farther than the Yishuv in collaborating with the Nazis. They actually drew up an official plan to fight alongside the Nazis in the War. The Irgun was willing to help the Nazis win the War. It read:

“The establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound by a treaty with the German Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East.

Proceeding from these considerations, the NMO [Irgun] in Palestine, under the condition the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.”

In effect, Lehi was suing for peace even before the War concluded. It did so in hope of securing Nazi support for the Yishuv and in an attempt to guarantee its survival.

While it is true that Lehi was in the political opposition and not a dominant player in the Yishuv, it still maintained a critical role in Palestinian society. Future prime ministers like Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin were its senior leaders. The descendants of Lehi have been ruling Israel virtually since 1977. So it’s important not to dismiss what it did before World War II as an anomaly or historically insignificant.

Mark Elf just coined a great phrase to characterize this pseudo-debate. He calls it “weaponizing anti-Semitism.”

May 1, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chicago Police Adopt Israeli Tactics

By Todd E. Pierce | Consortium News | December 11, 2015

After more than a year of stonewalling and what some might call obstructing justice, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued an apology for the horrific execution of Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason van Dyke. Laquan McDonald was the black 17-year-old who was shot 16 times by the police officer on Oct. 20, 2014. The video showing the shooting was only released by Chicago officials when they were ordered to do so by a judge in late November 2015.

But apology or not, the underlying substantive issue is that the summary execution of McDonald was the sort of atrocity that one would expect to see in what the U.S. once called “police states.” In fact, one can imagine a death squad execution in El Salvador in the 1980s looking very similar on video to McDonald’s slaying.

“Police state” is a term which has fallen into disuse since 9/11 with the adoption of so many similar practices by the so-called “democracies” in their domestic policies. The term generally was applied to Fascist or Communist governments and described a country where the police and the military exercised martial law over citizens or military occupation powers that uses military force to control a civilian population.

Sometimes these arbitrary powers were enforced by summary executions, depending on how much the authorities could get away with in their “extreme measures.” This was the practice in countries such as Nazi Germany; Pinochet’s Chile; El Salvador and Guatemala during the Cold War; to a lesser degree, apartheid South Africa; and military occupied territories such as Tibet, Israeli-occupied Palestine, and Eastern Europe under the Soviet Union.

But Chicago isn’t under martial law or military occupation, is it? Nor is it an apartheid state, with apartheid enforced by domestic martial law and military force, is it? To a normal civilian-oriented mind, one would think it is not under military occupation or martial law.

Seeking Israeli Training

Yet, under Mayor Emanuel, a former Israeli Defense Force (IDF) volunteer, and Garry McCarthy, the now former Chicago Police Superintendent (Emanuel fired him Dec. 1), it seems that parts of Chicago were treated as if they were occupied territory under police or paramilitary rule.

That is, under arbitrary martial law, just like the repressive martial law regime of the IDF in the occupied territory of Palestine. Martial law or occupation law is arbitrary as it is not law, but is the manifestation of the occupying military commander’s “will.”

How could this be in the civilian government of Chicago? In part, because Police Superintendent McCarthy and the City of Chicago sought out and received training by Israeli occupation forces in “counter-terrorism” policing, that is, “pacifying” a population through aggressive intelligence gathering and the application of military force. Counter-insurgency is the term used for when this doctrine is applied by military forces.

This collaboration between Israel and U.S. police agencies, including Chicago, emerged after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. Since then, by one count, at least 300 high-ranking sheriffs and police from cities both large and small have received counter-terrorism training in Israel. For instance, in January 2003, 33 senior U.S. law enforcement officials from Chicago and other major American cities flew to Israel for sessions on “Law Enforcement in the Era of Global Terror.”

In 2009, Israel’s Midwest Consulate General co-sponsored “an intensive seminar” in Israel for senior Chicago police officials “on intelligence-led policing techniques.” Chicago Police Superintendent McCarthy was a key participant in this Israeli seminar. The Israel Trade & Economic Office of the U.S. Midwest Region invited police officials to “Join Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy & the Midwest Delegation to the Israel Homeland Security International Conference 2012, and be a part of an international gathering of public security officials and private technology companies.”

In 2012, these “security officials” got to “experience demonstrations of breakthrough technologies from Israel” and “tour security infrastructure at the Old City of Jerusalem,” a city under Israeli military occupation. It wasn’t made clear if the “demonstrations of breakthrough technologies from Israel” would extend to live subjects in occupied Jerusalem.

In November 2014, Chicago’s McCarthy “led a delegation of senior law enforcement officials to Israel” as part of a training mission “to engage directly with their Israeli counterparts to discuss best practices, unique strategies, and new technologies in a range of law enforcement areas,” according to the same Israeli trade office.

“The visit also aimed to build a foundation for enhanced collaboration between the Chicago Police Department and the State of Israel.” Included in the delegation was the Executive Director of Cook County’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office, the Chief of Staff of the Chicago Police Department, as well as police officials from other large American cities. [The itinerary of the delegation is explained more here.]

In other words, over more than a decade, senior Chicago police officials have been studying Israel’s militarized police practices for how best to maintain a repressive military control over an occupied population living under permanent, strict martial, or occupation, law.

An Occupation Mentality

Why this matters is that Israel doesn’t have a domestic civilian policing model but instead applies a counter-insurgency policing model intended for a population under military occupation, or otherwise considered as hostile under martial law.

This policing model is being sold by Israel’s government to gullible or authoritarian-leaning U.S. police officials as a legitimate domestic policing model when, in fact, it is a military model of the sort used by militaristic, authoritarian regimes, customarily referred to as “fascist.”

What many people fail to understand about Israel and the IDF is that since 1967, now going on half a century, the Palestinian civilians who “fell into [Israeli] hands” when the IDF conquered Palestinian territory have been kept in strict and harsh military captivity of the sort the U.S. condemned when the former Soviet Union did the same to its captive peoples.

This pattern continues even though the Israeli occupation has been repeatedly declared illegal under international law. Chicago police being trained by Israeli security police and occupation forces is analogous to, and merits the same condemnation as, a U.S. city sending its officials to receive “police” training from Soviet security police who maintained military occupation of Eastern Europe in the 1950s-1960s. Or to North Korea today.

But in this case, there is also the issue of colluding with Israeli occupation authorities in an illegal occupation. These U.S. police officials are put in what should be the awkward position of aiding and abetting illegality.

Of course, one killing by a Chicago police officer, though similar to some of the killings by the IDF of civilians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and far below the scale of killing of the periodic “mowing the grass” that Israel undertakes in Gaza every couple of years, does not mean that illegal military occupation tactics are being practiced in Chicago. Or does it?

Secret Interrogations

In isolation, no. But while Chicago police have always had the reputation of being simply a rival gang to the many other gangs in Chicago’s history, under Rahm Emanuel’s regime, it has come to resemble an occupying military force down to a “secret interrogation facility,” as reported by Britain’s Guardian newspaper in August 2015: “At least 3,500 Americans have been detained inside a Chicago police warehouse described by some of its arrestees as a secretive interrogation facility, newly uncovered records reveal.”

The Chicago Police Department maintained that the warehouse was not a secret facility “so much as an undercover police base operating in plain sight.” But, as the Guardian reported, people were shackled and held for hours or even days without access to attorneys in violation of the U.S. Constitution, but the sort of detention permitted of Palestinians under IDF occupation.

A Chicago civil rights activist said he was abducted by masked officers, shackled and held on false charges, “with no food, no water, no access to the outside world” at the behest of “covert operations.” In other words, he simply disappeared.

Another former “detainee,” Charles Jones, was told in the interrogation room that he would be allowed a phone call once booked and processed. But he said his requests for legal counsel were repeatedly denied during the six-to-eight hours he was held at Homan Square.

“The only reason you’re brought to Homan and Fillmore is to extract information,” Jones said, referring to the cross streets of the facility.

“The police probably feel they need those covert operations because that’s the only way to get the intel they need instead of doing the good work – the hard work. . . . It’s easy to just go grab someone, throw ’em somewhere – no food, no water, no access to the outside world, intimidating and threatening ’em,” he said.

That is similar to intelligence-driven techniques used in counter-insurgency warfare. Several ex-Homan Square detainees told the Guardian that their detentions “were out of proportion to their alleged crimes, if any – but calibrated to pressure them into becoming informants.” This, in fact, is just like what U.S. forces did in occupied Iraq and Israeli forces do in Occupied Palestine. Indeed, that is what occupying armies do.

According to the Guardian, while the police data is incomplete, the disclosures “suggest an intensification of Homan Square usage under Emanuel. Approximately 70% of the Homan Square detentions the Chicago police acknowledge thus far have occurred under the current mayor.”

At the time of the Guardian article, then-Police Superintendent McCarthy was attending a meeting on violence and policing in Washington and was unavailable for comment.

After the Guardian’s initial Homan Square exposé in February 2015, protests were held and local politicians called for investigations. But Rahm Emanuel was not among the concerned officials even though he was running for re-election in part on a platform of police reform. Instead, Emanuel took ownership of the unorthodox operation and “defended his police,” claiming, “we follow all the rules” at Homan Square and called the reporting “not true.”

Israeli Comparisons

To Mayor Emanuel and former Superintendent McCarthy, it seemed, affluent sections of Chicago’s North Side are to Chicago’s South and West sides what Tel Aviv is to Occupied Palestine’s Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Emanuel and McCarthy seemed to have imported the Israeli military occupation ideology that just as Palestine must be kept “under the heavy heel of Israeli military occupation,” so must Chicago’s poorer areas be kept under the heavy heel of the Chicago police, acting as a paramilitary occupation force.

That Emanuel bears responsibility for all that has taken place in regard to the McDonald execution is shown in his role in making the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), the civilian agency that investigates allegations of excessive force by police, irrelevant.

The Chicago Tribune published an examination that found that of the 409 police shootings since IPRA was created in September 2007, only two allegations against police officers were deemed credible. (Emanuel has been mayor since May 16, 2011.)

This week, in announcing that former federal prosecutor Sharon Fairley would take charge of the IPRA after the resignation of her predecessor, neither Emanuel nor Fairley addressed how IPRA would improve “its woeful track record in investigating shootings,” as the Chicago Tribune described it.

Instead, Fairley stated: “the mission of IPRA will remain the same: thorough, fair and timely investigation of police officer misconduct.” Absurdly, that seems to be a statement asserting that nothing would change, allowing the police to continue operating with a sense of entitlement as they run roughshod over a population they are supposed to protect.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago police officials under Emanuel stopped participating in meetings with the IPRA to discuss officer shootings, “a change that came with the knowledge of the mayor’s office.” Will that remain the same?

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was asked whether the federal investigation would extend to the mayor’s and state’s attorney’s offices. Notwithstanding Emanuel’s alleged role in shutting down police participation with the IPRA, Lynch said the investigation would focus on the Police Department’s practices.

That’s not all that remarkable when one considers that the U.S. Justice Department and President Barack Obama declared they would take no action on the issue of “war on terror” torture by U.S. government officials involving the CIA and the military. As President Obama’s former Chief of Staff, Emanuel seems to fall under a similar protective shield of impunity.

What is remarkable is that the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus “called for Lynch to expand her probe to include IPRA and the state’s attorney’s office, but it left out the mayor’s office.” That is remarkable because Mayor Emanuel appears to be the person who gave impunity for civil rights violations to Chicago police officers to the degree that they felt legally immune in summarily executing Laquan McDonald.

A Family History

If Mayor Rahm Emanuel seems to have brought a Fascist sensibility to Chicago and the police force, it can be said it’s part of a family tradition. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Emanuel “is the son of a Jerusalem-born pediatrician who was a member of the Irgun (Etzel or IZL), a militant Zionist group that operated in Palestine between 1931 and 1948.”

In addition, according to Emanuel’s father, Benjamin, his son “is the namesake of Rahamim, a Lehi combatant who was killed” and was obviously a close friend or seen as a martyr. Both Lehi and the Irgun were terrorist organizations, not only in the eyes of the British and the Arabs in pre-Israel Palestine, but in the eyes of their fellow Jews, whom they also attacked.

Furthermore, the clandestine terror squads considered themselves Fascist organizations, not only in their tactics but in their ideology which had aligned them with Mussolini’s Italy and other inter-war European Fascist parties.

In The Road to Power: Herut Party in Israel, author Yonathan Shapiro describes Irgun as the military wing of the Betar Movement. The two groups jointly published a paper, Die Tat. Shapiro writes: “Betar activists were swept up by the radical-right nationalism then at its height in Europe.”

This was shown in the Betar press in Poland, where the Yiddish-language Betar-Irgun paper Die Tat was sympathetic to radical-right parties. The paper ran a series of articles in late 1938 and early 1939 entitled “The Third Europe,” which Shapiro says “was the overall name given to radical-right movements such as the Nazis in Germany, the Fascists in Italy, the Iron Guard in Romania, and the Franco camp in Spain, and so forth.”

One article in the series explained that Hitler’s attempted putsch in 1923 derailed “the German leadership from its track of havlagah – the same term that Zionist leaders used for their policy of moderation in their dealings with the Arab nationalist movement in Palestine.” The implication was that the Jewish radical right had to do something similar to break the Jewish leaders from moderation in Palestine.

Another Die Tat writer who was based in Tel Aviv argued that anti-Semitism wasn’t “an integral part of Naziism, which in the final analysis was a version of Fascism,” of which he approved. In an editorial entitled, “Hitler and Judaism,” a few weeks later, “the paper wrote that it did not reject Hitler’s views, not even on the race issue. It only objected to the campaign that ‘in practice’ he was waging against the Jewish people, and its desire to establish an independent state.”

Lessons of Terror

In 1942, Menachem Begin arrived in “Eretz-Israel,” as Irgun members referred to Palestine. He was “offered command of the Irgun and leadership of Betar.” Begin refused leadership of Betar on the grounds that Ze’ev Jabotinsky, though dead, remained head of Betar, and Jabotinsky as the irreplaceable leader of Betar “came to symbolize the idea of the absolute leader.”

Begin, the future founder of Likud and prime minister of Israel, was his “pupil and successor,” who shared the view of other Fascist parties that “believed in the principle of the omnipotent leader.” These were the Fascist ideas that Rahm Emanuel’s father imbibed and celebrated in his youth, and shared with his Lehi friend, Rahamim.

The distinction between the Irgun and Lehi was that the Irgun later called a truce with the British during World War II when it finally became apparent to them that Hitler represented a threat to Zionist interests, whereas Lehi saw Great Britain as much or more of the enemy than Hitler. Lehi continued terrorist attacks against Britain throughout the war.

Whatever the elder Emanuel’s political thoughts are today, he seemed to retain his youthful Fascist-style contempt for Arabs as he commented when Rahm was named President Obama’s Chief of Staff: “Obviously he’ll influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to be mopping floors at the White House,” as reported in the New York Times.

None of this is to suggest that Rahm Emanuel shares any of the Fascist ideas of his father’s youthful associates in the Irgun or of his father in his youth. But if Rahm Emanuel is going to preside over secret interrogation and detention centers as the Mayor of Chicago and is responsible for a police force learning and using Fascist-style police tactics, people may begin to notice a resemblance to the youthful Benjamin Emanuel and the ideology of his Irgun associates.

Emanuel’s Style

True to form in some people’s eyes – after the court-ordered release of the video revealing the murder of Laquan McDonald – Mayor Emanuel didn’t actually take responsibility for the cover-up except to acknowledge the obvious with his statement that it “happened on my watch.” He didn’t explain how the murder was swept under the carpet for over a year so, as some allege, it wouldn’t interfere with his reelection.

NPR  reported, “Emanuel acknowledged there is an underlying ‘trust problem’ that Chicago needs to address,” and “the city now needs to begin the process of healing and restoring trust and confidence in the police department.”

Furthermore, “Emanuel says supervision and leadership in the police department failed, and he promises to address ‘the thin blue line’ and ‘the code of silence,’ in which police officers ignore, deny and cover up the bad actions of a colleague.”

But with Israel making its counter-insurgency police training a major export to U.S. police forces, with American cities such as Chicago eager to adopt that training, it is little wonder that minorities increasingly feel they are under repressive military-style occupation in their communities. They have good reason to feel that way since the police are getting training from a country that is expert at keeping a conquered people under an open-ended military occupation.


Todd E. Pierce retired as a Major in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps in November 2012. His most recent assignment was defense counsel in the Office of Chief Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions. In the course of that assignment, he researched and reviewed the complete records of military commissions held during the Civil War and stored at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. 

December 11, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Zionism in the Age of the Dictators

By Lenni Brenner | CounterPunch | February 24, 2014

I’m American, but my first book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators (now finally back in print), was published in Britain. American houses wouldn’t risk selling an expose of Zionist collaboration with Hitler. Then I found pro and anti-Zionist books published by Croom Helm Ltd. I went to them. They gave me an ultimatum: “You are about to write the most controversial book imaginable…. So there can be no mistakes. You must send us a photocopy of every document you quote.” It was published in 1983.

While British leftists organized a lecture tour for me, I went to Israel. By luck, that visit ultimately generated international attention to the book.

When Menachem Begin retired and Yitzhak Shamir became Israel’s 2nd Likud Prime Minister, I had a Palestinian English-language weekly publish a translation of his 1940-41 outfit’s offer to go to war on Hitler’s side. An Israeli newspaper questioned him about it. I went on to London and there, in the 21 October Times, was the PM’s lie:

“Shamir… denied that he had any part in the efforts by Mr. Abraham Stern… to establish contact with the Nazis and Italian Fascists.

‘There was a plan to turn to Italy for help and to make contact with Germany on the assumption that these could bring about a massive Jewish immigration to Palestine. I opposed this… but I did join Lehi after the idea of contacts with the Axis countries was dropped.’”

The “Proposal of the National Military Organization (Irgun Zvai Leumi) Concerning the Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe and the Participation of the NMO in the War on the side of Germany” was found post-war in Germany’s Turkish embassy. The Sternists declared that

“The establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound by a treaty with the German Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East.

Proceeding from these considerations, the NMO in Palestine, under the condition the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.”

I went to The Times with the German original, the translation and a letter. “You sure didn’t make this up in German!” My letter appeared on 4 November:

“Away from my files, I cannot be certain exactly when in 1940 Shamir joined the group. But in any case, isn’t he confessing that he knowingly joined an organization of traitors which had offered to ally itself to the archenemy of the Jews? Nor can there be any doubt that he joined up with Stern before December 1941, when the Sternists tried to send Nathan Yallin-Mor to Turkey to contact the German ambassador there with the same proposal.”

I relocated evidence that Shamir was a ‘Stern Gang’ founder and presented it to The Times. He organized their 1944 assassination of  Britain’s Middle East High Commissioner in Cairo. In 1963, Gerold Frank published The Deed about it.

Stern split off from David Raziel’s Irgun in September 1940. Frank wrote up a meeting where “Yizernitsky” (Shamir’s born-name)….“spoke tersely, summing up the reason, behind Stern’s decision decision to walk out of the Irgun.” One of the assassins “could not forget Yizernitsky’s ‘fire and powder’ remark in the days immediately following the Raziel-Stern split.”

This led to Edward Mortimer reviewing the book in the 11 February 1984 Times:

“Who told a Berlin audience in March 1912 that “each country can absorb only a limited number of Jews, if she doesn’t want disorders in her stomach. Germany already has too many Jews”?

No, not Adolf Hitler but Chaim Weizmann, later president of the World Zionist Organization and later still the first president of the state of Israel….

Zionism itself encouraged and exploited self-hatred in the Diaspora. It started from the assumption that anti-Semitism was inevitable and even in a sense justified so long as Jews were outside the land of Israel.

It is true that only an extreme lunatic fringe of Zionism went so far as to offer to join the war on Germany’s side in 1941, in the hope of establishing “the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound by a treaty with the German Reich.” Unfortunately this was the group which the present Prime Minister of Israel chose to join….

Mr Brenner is able to cite numerous cases where Zionists collaborated with anti-Semitic regimes, including Hitler’s; he is careful also to put on record the opposition to such policies within the Zionist movement.

In retrospect these activities have been defended as a distasteful but necessary expedient to save Jewish lives. But Brenner shows that most of the time this aim was secondary. The Zionist leaders wanted to help young, skilled and able-bodied Jews to emigrate to Palestine. They were never in the forefront of the struggle against fascism in Europe.”

Indeed the Stern Gang weren’t the only Zionist collaborators. On June 21, 1933 the Zionistische Vereinigung fur Deutschland, the German Zionist Federation, appealed to the Nazis:

“May we therefore be permitted to present our views, which, in our opinion, make possible a solution in keeping with the principles of the new German State of National Awakening…. because we, too, are against mixed marriage and are for maintaining the purity of the Jewish group….

For its practical aims, Zionism hopes to be able to win the collaboration even of a government fundamentally hostile to Jews…. Boycott propaganda – such as is currently being carried on against Germany in many ways – is in essence un-Zionist, because Zionism wants not to do battle but to convince and to build.”

The WZO made the Ha’ Avara (Transfer) agreement in 1933. The Nazis ‘taxed’ money leaving Germany, but the rate was lowest for German Zionists buying Nazi goods which the WZO sold in Palestine and the Middle East. In 1935 Weizmann explained that the WZO “should concern ourselves with the constructive solution of the German question through the transfer of the Jewish youth from Germany to Palestine, rather than with the question of equal rights of Jews in Germany.”

The WZO opposed anti-Nazi boycott movements. Fritz Reichart, the Gestapo’s Palestine agent, wrote to his headquarters:

“The London Boycott Conference was torpedoed from Tel Aviv be- cause the head of the Transfer in Palestine, in close contact with the consulate in Jerusalem, sent cables to London. Our main function here is to prevent, from Palestine, the unification of world Jewry on a basis hostile to Germany.”

The ZVfD asked Baron von Mildenstein of the Nazi SS elite corp to write pro-Zionist articles in the Nazi press. He visited Palestine for six months as the ZVfD’s guest and wrote 12 articles for Der Angriff (The Assault), the leading Nazi propaganda organ, about how Jewish soil under a Jew’s feet “reformed him and his kind in a decade. This new Jew will be a new people.”

To commemorate the Baron’s expedition, Propaganda Minister Goebbels had a medal struck: the Zionist star and EIN NAZI FÄHRT NACH PALÄSTINA — A Nazi Travels to Palestine — on one side, the swastika UND ERZÄHLT DAVON IM Angriff – And tells about it in Angriff – on the other.

The medal is on the front cover of the new edition of my book.

The WZO tried to extend its relationship with Nazism. On February 26, 1937, Feival Polkes of the Haganah Labor Zionist militia, met with Adolf Eichmann in Berlin. The report on their negotiations was in SS files found after the war:

“Polkes…. noted that the Haganah’s goal is to reach, as soon as possible, a Jewish majority in Palestine…. he declared himself willing to work for Germany in the form of providing intelligence as long as this does not oppose his own political goals. Among other things he would support German foreign policy in the Near East. He would try to find oil sources for the German Reich without affecting British spheres of interest if the German monetary regulations were eased for Jewish emigrants to Palestine.”

Eichmann and another SS man went to Palestine on October 2nd. Polkes took them to a kibbutz, a Labor Zionist co-op farm. Two days later the British realized that the visitors also contacted Reichart, known to be a Gestapo agent, and they expelled them to Egypt. Polkes met them in Cairo. He passed on two pieces of “intelligence”:

“The Pan-Islamic World Congress convening in Berlin is in direct contact with two pro-Soviet Arab leaders: Emir Shekib Arslan and Emir Adil Arslan…. The illegal Communist broadcasting station whose transmission to Germany is particularly strong, is, according to Polkes’ statement, assembled on a lorry that drives along the German-Luxembourg border when transmission is on the air.”

Later, Eichmann, hiding in Argentina, taped a look-back at his career. The holocaust’s prime organizer waxed nostalgic about Palestine:

“I did see enough to be very impressed by the way the Jewish colonists were building up their land. I admired their desperate will to live, the more so since I was myself an idealist. In the years that followed I often said to Jews with whom I had dealings that, had I been a Jew, I would have been a fanatical Zionist. I could not imagine being anything else. In fact, I would have been the most ardent Zionist imaginable.”

MUSSOLINI: “YOUR FASCIST, JABOTINSKY”

Most American pro-Zionists, Jew or gentile, know little Zionist history. Most can’t identify Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880 – 1940) even though he was the founder of the Zionist-Revisionist movement, the precursor of the Likud Party, and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s father was his secretary.

In 1917 Jabotinsky organized a Jewish Legion to help the British take Palestine from Ottoman Turkey. When Britain declared it the “Jewish national home,” Palestine included today’s Jordan. But in 1921 London separated it from Palestine and gave it to the son of Britain’s puppet Sharif of Mecca. As no Zionists lived there, WZO leaders accepted the loss. But Jabotinsky insisted that the WZO had to “revise” its policy. Britain giving part of Palestine to an Arab would inspire Palestinians to struggle on until London completely abandoned  Zionism. “One side of the Jordan is ours – and so is the other.” So goes Shtei Gadot, a song identified with Revisionism from 1923, when Jabotinsky founded the Betar youth movement, until well after the 1948 creation of Israel.

In 1923 he wrote Revisionism’s Bible, an article, “The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs)”:

“Every native population in the world resists colonists as long as it has the slightest hope of being able to rid itself of the danger of being colonized. That is what the Arabs in Palestine are doing, and what they will persist in doing as long as there remains a solitary spark of hope that they will be able to prevent the transformation of “Palestine” into the “Land of Israel.”…. Zionist colonization must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. This means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population –- behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach.”

Jabotinsky looked for a new imperial protector committed to a ruthless policy towards Arabs. Italy was appealing with its bloodthirsty Libyan colonialism. But he had been a student in Italy and couldn’t see anything wrong with the liberal and aristocratic traditions that Mussolini repudiated. In 1926 he sneered at Fascism:

“There is today a country where ‘programs’ have been replaced by the word of one man… Italy; the system is called Fascism: to give their prophet a title, they had to coin a new term—‘Duce’—which is a translation of that most absurd of all English words—‘leader’. Buffaloes follow a leader. Civilized men have no leaders.”

But for Ex-Labour Zionists turned Revisionist, ex-socialist Mussolini was a hero. At the 1932 Revisionist World Conference, Abba Achimeir and Wolfgang von Weisl proposed Jabotinsky as their Duce. He refused but, without abandoning liberal rhetoric, he incorporated Mussolini’s concepts into his ideology.

Jabotinsky proposed quitting the WZO, but their World Union Executive saw no gain in splitting. He took personal control of the movement and let the ranks choose between him and the Executive in a plebiscite. He wrote a letter: “The time has apparently come when there must be a single, principal controller in the movement, a ‘leader’, though I still hate the word. All right, if there must be one, there will be one.”

Jabotinsky set up the New Zionist Organization. Achimeir, its Palestine leader (Britain barred Jabotinsky from Palestine) ran his Yomen shel Fascisti (Diary of a Fascist) in their paper. Von Weisl, NZO’s Financial Director, told a newspaper that “He personally was a supporter of Fascism, and he rejoiced at the victory of Fascist Italy in Abyssinia as a triumph of the White races against the Black.”

In 1934 Mussolini authorized a Betar squadron at his maritime academy. In 1935 he met a rabbi and hailed “your fascist, Jabotinsky.” Mussolini reviewed the squadron in 1936.

The orientation towards Italy ended in a debacle. The Spanish civil war persuaded Mussolini to unite with Hitler to ward off worker revolutions. It was impossible to be Hitler’s ally and have Jews in his own party. He expelled Jews from the party and geared up for war. The Revisionists declared that they were wrong for the right reasons:

“For years we have warned the Jews not to insult the fascist regime in Italy. Let us be frank before we accuse others of the recent anti-Jewish laws in Italy; why not first accuse our own radical groups who are responsible for what happened.”

Stern and Shamir’s “historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis” evolved from this fanaticism.

“THERE IS NOT THE REMOTEST CHANCE OF WAR”

Shmuel Merlin, NZO’s Secretary-General, later explained that in January 1933 Jabotinsky “thought that Hitler would either reform or yield to the pressure of the Junkers and Big Business.” But by March he called for an anti-Nazi boycott. On June 16 Revisionists assassinated Labor Zionist Chaim Arlosoroff who negotiated the Ha’Avara pact with Berlin.

Two days later the British police brought Revisionists Avraham Stavsky and Zvi Rosenblatt in for an identity parade. Arlosoroff’s widow recognized Stavsky. Rosenblatt was cleared on a legal technicality but Stavsky was sentenced to hang. Later the Palestine Court of Appeal acquitted him on technicalities but the Chief Justice was displeased: “in England… the conviction would have to stand.” In 1944 a ballistics expert discovered the gun that killed Arlosoroff was used in the Cairo assassination by the Stern Gang splitters from Jabotinsky’s organization.

There’s no evidence that Jabotinsky ordered Arlosoroff killed but  he insisted that Revisionists didn’t commit  the crime. Many in the WZO opposed Ha’Avara, but they wouldn’t unite with Arlosoroff’s murderers in anti-Nazi actions. Alone they accomplished nothing and inevitably Revisionist policies re Germany became surreal.

Even as they demonstrated against Hitler throughout Europe, their Staatzionistische Organisation and its leader, George Kareski, were  Hitler’s favorite Zionists. On  April 13, 1935, the Gestapo declared that State Zionism would receive “permission to let its members… wear uniforms indoors… because the State Zionists have proven to be the organization which had tried in any way, even illegally, to bring its members to Palestine, and… meets half-way the intention of the Reich Government to remove the Jews from Germany.”

The scandalized NZO ranks compelled a resolution that, under the circumstances, there was no German Revisionist movement and Jabotinsky called on him to deny any Nazi connection. However in 1936 Kareski was his go-between with the German publishing house holding the copyright to one of his books, and the Fascists around von Weisl remained in contact with him.

In 1937 Kareski went to Palestine. German Jews discovered him and chased him through the streets until police rescued him. I’d like to report that he died alone and hated, but in 1947 he was appointed chairman of a Revisionist health fund.

In 1939, a week before Hitler invaded Poland, Jabotinsky insisted that “There is not the remotest chance of war.” He planned to invade Palestine, landing a boatload of Betarim on Tel Aviv’s beach while the Irgun seized Government House in Jerusalem, and a provisional Jewish government was proclaimed abroad. After his capture or death, it would operate as a government-in-exile.

His model was the 1916 rising in Ireland. Its leaders were executed, but their martyrdom inspired a revolutionary movement. However it is impossible to see how an invasion could have convinced Jews in Palestine, mostly his WZO enemies, to rise up after his defeat. The plan’s fantasy was revealed on the night of August 31-September 1. The British arrested the Irgun command as they debated whether to take part in the scheme and, within hours, Hitler started the war Jabotinsky insisted wouldn’t happen.

The December 4, 1948 New York Times ran a letter by Albert Einstein and other Jews re Menachem Begin’s visit to the US, exposing his Herut Party which evolved into today’s Likud. Given that Achimeir and von Weisl wrote for Herut’s newspaper, Einstein’s evaluation of Begin’s Revisionist commitment bears quotation:

“Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our time is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the ‘Freedom Party’ (Tnuat HaHerut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties…. They have preached an admixture of ultra-nationalism, religious mysticism and racial superiority… it is imperative that the truth about Mr Begin and his movement be made known in this country.”

Indeed Zionist Revisionist history must be known here. Read Zionism In The Age Of The Dictators and then convince other Americans to read it.

Lenni Brenner can be contacted at BrennerL21@aol.com.

February 24, 2014 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Hundred Deir Yassin and Counting: Beit Daras and the Buried History of Massacres

The invasion of Beit Daras following the last battle in May 1948. (Photo: Palestine Remembered)

The invasion of Beit Daras following the last battle in May 1948. (Photo: Palestine Remembered)
By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | April 17 2013 

Few with any sense of intellectual or historical integrity would still question the bloody massacre that took place in the village of Deir Yassin 65 years ago, claiming the lives of over 100 innocent Palestinians. Attempts at covering up the massacre have been dwarfed by grim details by well-respected historians, including some of Israel’s own.

Even narratives offered by historians such as Benny Morris – an honest researcher who remained committed to Zionism despite the ghastly history he had himself uncovered – presented a harrowing version of the events that unfolded on that day: “Whole families were riddled with bullets… men, women, and children were mowed down as they emerged from houses; individuals were taken aside and shot. Haganah intelligence reported ‘there were piles of dead. Some of the prisoners moved to places of incarceration, including women and children, were murdered viciously by their captors…”

It was the Irgun Zionist militias of Menachem Begin and the Stern Gang (Lehi) lead by Yitzhak Shamir that took credit for the infamy of that day; and both were rewarded generously for their ‘heroism’. The once wanted criminals rose to prominence to become Israeli Prime Ministers in later years.

The importance of the Deir Yassin massacre to historians often obscures important facts. One amongst them is that Deir Yassin was one of many massacres perpetrated by Zionist troops, including Haganah units. Another is that these militias had jointly formed the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) following the official Israeli Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948 despite their supposed differences during the conquest of Palestine. David Ben-Gurion had made his decision on May 26 and hesitated little to include both the Irgun and Lehi, alongside the Haganah. Not only did the leaders of the terrorist militias command respect and enjoy prestige within Israeli society, armed forces and the political elite, but the very murderers who butchered innocent men, women and children were empowered with bigger guns and continued to ‘serve’ and terrorize for many more years. Another often overlooked fact is that what started at Deir Yassin never truly finished. Sabra and Shatila, Jenin, Gaza and many more are only recreations of the same event.

But another sad reality also emerged and crystalized in the last 65 years. Since then the right to credible narration has still largely been reserved for Israeli historians. Most of these historians, whether sympathetic or otherwise, either played no part in that history, were privileged by its outcome or were themselves active participants. Still, it would take an Israeli historian to ‘discover’ a Palestinian massacre in some village at some point in time. For example, only when Israeli journalist Amir Gilat chose to run a story in Ma’ariv newspaper a few years ago, citing the research of Israeli master’s degree student Theodore Katz, did western media acknowledge the Tantura massacre. It mattered little that the descendants and relatives of 240 victims of that grief stricken village who were killed in cold blood by Alexandroni troops, never ceased remembering their loved ones. A ‘massacre’ is only a massacre when half-heartedly acknowledged by an Israeli historian no matter how long it takes for that admission to resurface.

Even Palestinian historians, at least those who are held accountable to the rules of western media and academia, find themselves borrowing mostly from Israeli sources, aggrandizing Israeli writers and celebrating Israeli historians who are supposedly more trustworthy than Palestinians. The logic has it that a sympathetic Israeli narrative would win greater acceptance by American or British audiences than one told by a Palestinian, even if the Palestinian historian had lived the event and experienced its every gory detail.

It is a travesty for the Palestinian narrative to live on borrowed analogies, borrowed histories and borrowed historians in order to enjoy an iota of credibility. This is just the tip of the iceberg and the problem runs much deeper than this.

In my last book, My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story, I charted a detailed account of the Massacre of Beit Daras, when scores of inhabitants of that brave village, located in southern Palestine, were gunned down by Haganah troops only weeks after Deir Yassin inhabitants were massacred in a similar fashion. Beit Daras is the village from which my family was dispossessed to subsist in an impoverished refugee camp in Gaza.

Although Beit Daras was located at the north eastern part of the Gaza District in southern Palestine, it was high on the Zionist leadership agenda as early as the first months of conquest. The small village was one of a few villages and towns marked for destruction in Operation Nachshon and Harel aimed to completely cut off the Jaffa-Jerusalem landmass. The war for Beit Daras began early, as heavy shelling began between March 27-28, 1948, killing 9 villagers and destroying large areas of the village’s crops.

Several attempts had failed to drive the resilient villagers out. What turned out to be the last battle took place in mid-May. Um ‘Adel and Um Mohammed were two young girls in Beit Daras at the time. Now old women in Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza, they helped me connect some of the pieces regarding what happened on that day. I provided their historically consistent accounts in my book on Gaza. Here are few excerpts:

Um ‘Adel recalls: “The women and children were told to leave because the news of the Deir Yassin massacre was spreading and with it lots of fear. We were told that the Jews not only massacre people, but rape women. The women had to be sent away, but the men wouldn’t leave. But so many of them were killed. The men fought like lions, and many were killed as well, including Abu Mansi Nassar and his two brothers, Ali Mohammed Hussain al-Osaji, and four youth from al-Maqadima.”

Um Mohammed elaborated: “The town was under bombardment, and it was surrounded from all directions. There was no way out. They surrounded it all, from the direction of Isdud, al-Sawafir and everywhere. We wanted to pursue a way out. The armed men (the Beit Daras fighters) said they were going to check on the road to Isdud, to see if it was open. They moved forward and shot few shots to see if someone would return fire. No one did. But they (the Zionist forces) were hiding and waiting to ambush the people. The armed men returned and told the people to evacuate the women and children. The people went out (including) those who were gathered at my huge house, the family house. There were mostly children and kids in the house.

“The armed men came and said, ‘the road to Isdud is open, evacuate the people.’ The Jews let the people get out, and then they whipped them with bombs and machine guns. More people fell than those who were able to run. My sister and I… started running through the fields; we’d fall and get up. My sister and I escaped together holding each other’s hand. The people who took the main road were either killed or injured, and those who went through the fields. The firing was falling on the people like sand. The bombs from one side and the machine guns from the other. The Jews were on the hill; there was a school and a water reservoir for people and the vegetables. They showered the people with machine guns. A lot of the people died and got injured.

But many fighters remained in Beit Daras. Not even a massacre would weaken their resolve. The wounded were gathered in many houses, but with little medical care to count on. Some of the dead were hurriedly buried. Many others were unreachable, lying in the sun amidst the blooming fields of spring.

Ramzy Baroud’s latest book is: My Father was A Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press).

Related posts:

  1. Film: Deir Yassin – The Agony
  2. Barghouti: Deir Yassin Massacre Has Not Ended
  3. April Memories: Deir Yassin Remembered
  4. Ben-Gurion and Massacre of Deir Yassin
  5. Sixty Years after Deir Yassin
  6. Deir Yassin massacre has not ended

April 17, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment