Israeli Terrorism

The horrendous massacre of thousands of innocent victims, on Sept. 11 Sept. in New York and Washington, brought a great deal of attention to the subject of terrorism, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaida.

There has also been some insinuation, by the media and politicians, towards Arabs and Muslims, with reference to the Middle East and the Palestine conflict.

But nowhere is there any mention of Israeli terrorism in relation to this conflict.

Terrorism is defined in a variety of ways. An interesting definition is put forward by the noted intellectual Noam Chomsky, who wrote: “There is another defining property of ‘terrorism’ in contemporary newspeak: it refers to violent acts by Them, not Us.”

Another definition is when the men, women and children who are killed are Palestinians and the gunmen or pilots who murder them are Israelis. This form of terrorism is not terrorism, we are told, but mere retaliation, self-defence or what they may call ‘civilized terrorism.’

The late professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor, and then chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights, wrote: “There is nothing new in the fact that Israel is a terrorist state, which, almost from its inception, has used its intelligence service (the Mossad) to assassinate people on foreign soil with any violence or terror it considers necessary for its ends.”

The actions of the state of Israel since its creation, and those of the terrorist gangs (the Stern, Irgun Zwei Leumi and the Haganah) that brought it about, testify to Israel’s long-established record in terrorism, not only in the Middle East but on the international scene. This record is massive and would take volumes to relate but I will refer only to a few examples:

Assassination of Palestinian leaders and intellectuals, in Europe and the Middle East has gone on for years. This includes the 1972 Lillehammer affair in Norway, where an innocent Moroccan waiter was killed in error, instead of a targeted Palestinian; the murder of the Palestinian diplomat and scholar Naim Khader in 1985 in Brussels, and many others.

Fathi Shikaki was assassinated in Malta in 1995 on the orders of Yitzhak Rabin. The role of Ehud Barak, dressed as an Arab woman, in the assassination of three Palestinian leaders, including the poet Kemal Nasser, in 1973 in Beirut, must not be forgotten.

Israeli-targeted assassination of Palestinians described as activists, as well as bystanders, continues to this day. Israeli assassination is not limited to Palestinians but includes the 1944 assassination of the British minister Lord Moyne in Cairo as planned by Yitzhak Shamir.

A horrible crime was committed in the assassination of the Swedish nobleman, Count Folke Bernadotte, a UN mediator, on Sept. 17, 1948, in Jerusalem, on the orders of Yitzhak Shamir, who later became prime minister of Israel. Count Bernadotte’s sin was his recommendation, as the UN mediator, that Palestinian refugees who were driven out from their homes by Israel should be allowed to return to their homes. This recommendation was the substance of the UN resolution 194, on Dec. 11, 1948, stipulating the right of return for the Palestinian refugees as soon as possible.

Israeli use of chemical weapons is also on record in the botched attempt to assassinate Khalid Meshal in Amman in 1997, on the orders of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Incredible as it may seem, Israel also indulged in the development of bioterrorism.

The first act of air piracy in the history of civil aviation was carried out by Israel in 1954, when a civilian Syrian airliner was forced down in Tel Aviv and its passengers and crew held hostage, despite international condemnation.

The first act of shooting down a civilian airliner was deliberately carried out by Israel when a Libyan airliner was shot down by Israeli jet fighters over Sinai in February 1973, on the orders of Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, killing 107 of its passengers and its entire French crew.

Israeli terror was not restricted to Palestinians, Arabs and Europeans but included its own closest supporter and ally, the United States. In 1954, Israeli secret agents bombed the U.S. diplomatic centres in Cairo and Alexandria (known as the Lavon Affair), in an attempt to put the blame on the Egyptians. Israel later honoured the perpetrator, Marcello Ninio.

In June 1967, Israeli forces attacked and sank the U.S. spy ship USS Liberty, and strafed rescue boats, killing 35 and injuring 170 U.S. servicemen, in an attempt to conceal its own secret communications, and again tried to blame it on the Egyptians. To this day, incredible as it may seem, the U.S. Congress refuses to hold an inquiry into this crime, as requested by the surviving crew. Needless to say, no sanctions were imposed or calls to extradite the perpetrators were made.

Zionist terror did not spare Jews. In 1940, Menachem Begin’s Irgun Zwei Leumi terrorist gang bombed the ship Patria in Haifa harbor, killing 240 Jewish refugees, so as to put the blame on the British for political gain.

In 1950-1951, Israeli agents were dispatched to Iraq where they tossed hand grenades into the crowded Massauda Shem-Tov synagogue, causing numerous deaths, in order to blame it on the Iraqis and encourage reluctant Iraqi Jews to emigrate to Israel.

Israeli terrorism against Palestinians continues, including murder, torture, expropriation of their land, for the creation of illegal settlements and demolition of thousands of their homes as well as entire towns and villages, not to mention numerous massacres, including those of Deir Yassin, Qibya, Sabra and Shatilla, Jenin, and Gaza.

The Palestinians of the West Bank have remained under illegal occupation for over 34 years, in defiance of international law and UN Security Council resolutions. Their acts of resistance are described by Israel as terrorism, yet international law entitles all peoples, including even the Palestinian people, to resist foreign occupation.

Occupation is violence, and to bring an end to violence and bring peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians, Israel must comply with international law and withdraw completely from all territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem.

Israeli acts of belligerency extend beyond its defiance of international law and Security Council resolutions to violation of its own agreements with the Palestinian Authority.

Its recent re-occupation, of seven cities and towns in the Palestinian autonomous areas is illegal. The pretext for this is the recent assassination of the Israeli Minister of Tourism, Rehavam Zeevi, by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in retaliation for Israel’s assassination of their leader Mustafa Zibri two months earlier.

Mr. Zibri’s assassination was one of over 50 Palestinian leaders assassinated over the last year. The invasion of these towns, including Bethlehem and Beit Jala, using tanks and Apache warships, has resulted in the demolition of scores of homes and the killing of over 50 Palestinians, mostly women and children.

The invasion of these towns and cities continues in defiance of international condemnation and the call for immediate withdrawal by the U.S., Israel’s ally, benefactor and unquestioning supporter. But, alas, Israel remains above international law.

The late Canadian historian Frank Epp, then president of Grebel college of the University of Waterloo, wrote: “It is true that terrorist acts have been perpetrated by people identified as Palestinians. But there is another terrorism which is more vicious and brutal, that of dispossession and displacement forced upon the Palestinians.

However, terrorism meted out by the Palestinians, regrettable as it is, is minute by comparison with that which has been inflicted on them. The mass media have failed to make this point adequately.”

The tragedy for the Jewish people of Israel, in the crimes that are committed in their name, is highlighted in the statement made by the noted British historian Arnold Toynbee, who stated in a 1961 lecture at McGill University to a largely Jewish audience: “The Jewish treatment of the Arabs in 1948 was as morally indefensible as the slaughter by the Nazis of six million Jews … The most tragic thing in human life is when people who have suffered impose suffering in their turn.”

The Palestinian people today are calling for a modicum of justice. For without this, there will be no peace for Arab or Jew in the Middle East.

Dr. Ismail Zayid was born and grew up in Beit Nuba, Palestine. He is the author of two books: Palestine: A Stolen Heritage and Zionism: The Myth and the Reality. Read other articles by Ismail, or visit Ismail's website.

14 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. deceschi said on January 26th, 2010 at 1:20pm #

    I believe firmly that comparing the Holocaust with the territorial conflict between Israel on the one side and Palestinians and Arab states on the other side is blasphemous and displays a serious lack of undestanding of both – absolutely incomparable – phenomenons.
    And I say this not because I support Israel in her struggle to survive in a hostile neighborhood, but because such comparison is simply devoid of historical truth. And I KNOW what I’m speaking about: I’ve studied quite in depth both the history of the Shoah as well as the history of the ME conflict from its beginning in the early years of the twentieth century.

  2. Ismail Zayid said on January 26th, 2010 at 2:51pm #

    Professor Arnold Toynbee’s statement, that Deceschi objects to, is not making a quantitative comparison between the Nazi slaughter of the Jews and the Zionist crimes against the Palestinian people. His statement, as a renowned world historian, is noting the moral aspect for a people who have suffered such crimes, at the hands of the Nazis, not learning from their experience and proceeding to commit the horrible massacres that they perpetrated against an innocent people, being subjected to a campaign of calculated massacres and ethnic cleansing from their homeland.

  3. kalidas said on January 26th, 2010 at 5:19pm #

    “And I KNOW what I’m speaking about:”

    Here you go, professor.

    This is rich! Israelis, most of whom were never in Nazi Germany, never hesitate to exploit the Holocaust for political and financial gain, but when one of the few actual survivors of the Nazi labor camps dares to criticize Israel, he is “abusing” his position!!!!!

  4. Rehmat said on January 26th, 2010 at 6:37pm #

    Every other day one read in the Zionist-controlled mainstream media about the “terrorists” (singled out by their Muslim faith) being arrested by the security officials – while according to the Justice Department, out of 200,000 federal inmates only 28 are imprisoned on terror-related convictions.

    Interestingly, since 9/11 no terrorist attack on the American soil has been reported – though on several occasions, suspected Israelis have been arrested for being involved in terrorism-related activities but most of them have been deported to Israel on flimsy accuses. A survey conducted by World Public Opinion this year indicated that only 3% of Pakistanis believe that Al-Qaeda was behind 9/11 attacks.

    “Among the many lies about 911, the most egregious are the ‘official ones’ put forward by the Bush administration and Bush personally. Make no mistake about it: the story of 19 Arabs hijackers coordinated from a cave in Afghanistan by a man who wa most certainly already dead of kidney failure, is the most absurd lie among them. If Bush has taken his ‘case’ to court, a ‘burden of proof’ would have been imposed. It would have been interesting to see the government prosecutors attempt to ‘prove’ a case against a man that that could not have been proven to have been alive let alone co-ordinate multiple hijacking with cell phones from inside a remote cave in Afghanistan……” Dr. David Ray Griffin in Official Lies about 911 Exposed.

    911: The Lie that refuses to go away

  5. ymedad said on January 27th, 2010 at 12:55am #

    You write:
    “In 1940, Menachem Begin’s Irgun Zwei Leumi terrorist gang bombed the ship Patria in Haifa harbor, killing 240 Jewish refugees, so as to put the blame on the British for political gain.”

    a) Begin assumed command of the Irgun in December 1943 (and was in Soviet prison until September 1941)
    b) the Patria was sabotaged by the Hagana, see Munya Mardor’s book, “Strictly Illegal” and
    c) no blame was sought to be placed – it was simply an attempt to keep the british from expelling Jews from the Mandate.

  6. scott said on January 27th, 2010 at 9:43am #

    You need to correct the claim that the USS Liberty was sunk, it was not. It was damaged, 100 plus did die, but the wounded ship limped back to port. The only reason the ship wasn’t sunk was the the USS Saratoga, the ship that answered mayday calls incorrectly reported their location. They thought and reported that they were much closer so the Israelis fled after strafing the life boats. Shooting the life boats of even your bitterest enemy is a war crime, a charge they’ve never answered for–we’re to assume the inhuman Egyptians deserved their life boats destroyed. I say Egyptian because the Israelis have insisted this was a case of mistaken identity even though two American flags were shot up in strafing runs by Israeli airships.

  7. scott said on January 27th, 2010 at 10:22am #

    Ironically, it was a Soviet warship that provided safe passage for the Liberty until the USS Saratoga arrived. Get it, Israelis shoot out our life boats, the Soviets come to our rescue.

    Read the Book of Joshua–if you want to jump to the 8th Chapter you’ll skip a bunch of saber and arc rattling but you will read the celebration of the genocidal annihilation of dozen cities. Usually they kill every man, woman and child, sometimes they killed the animals other times they took the animals and a few women and girls for their use. The Koran has nothing this repugnant to modern mores.

    But, if you read the Book of Joshua you will clearly understand who the religious fanatics are, you will read the celebration of ethnic cleansing. The Old Testament, the Jewish tradition also espouses the Golden Rule. Perhaps it’s reasonable to ask which part of your tradition to you hold to? For it’s unacceptable to espouse the elitism, supremacy from anyone be they Aryan, Black, Muslim or Jewish. We should all be judged by the same standard–that is the very challenge of the Golden Rule.

    Jesus challenges us to love our neighbors as ourselves, echoing repeated Old Testament commandments to do the same. He challenges us to love even our enemies. And, when asked specifically “who is my neighbor” he points to the Samaritan, an Arab, a goy. Do we treat others as we wish to be treated? Even an Atheist can agree to this principle, it’s found in every faith tradition. Do we deal fairly?

    Would the US let a small country’s president drive a hard bargain for his resources? Or would he be turned into an enemy? His duty is to get the most for his country’s resources, that’s his democratic duty to his people. Yet, we are unwilling to allow leaders to fulfill their duty to their own people. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Turkey’s leaders all betray their democratic duty to their own people for America.

    It’s easy for us to forget these compromises, but they are in the forefront of the minds of those people. Our failure to drive our leaders to follow our own interests lays at our feet. It’s too easy to sit politely, and not stir the pot. We’ve become a country of good Americans unable to breach the decorum and tell the truth in the face of so many lies, and perversions of the truth.

    How can our democracy function when so many of us are spun senseless. We’ve thrown away Habeas Corpus, and allow summary executions of American citizens in the name of security. Who knows that we prompted Georgia to attack Russian forces in ’08, that Putin’s forces slammed the whole little provocation down. Still the media tell this story the other way around, despite 7 Secretaries of State affirming that Georgia was the aggressor?

    How many know that Ahmendijhad never threatened Israel? He’s said provocative things but has kept any predictions of Israel’s demise in a passive voice, as if it would destroy itself or change. This is almost certainly true. Israel cannot long call itself both democratic and Jewish. For in the next dozen years Arabs, Palestinian Christians, Muslims, and Arab Israelis will outnumber Jews. So, it can’t be both democratic and Jewish without a Palestinian state or some other dispatch of non Jews.

    Where is the room in the discussion for actually cutting the defense budget? When do these discussions, when does the truth come to the main stream media? How does this even get introduced into polite conversation? We’re too stupid to even know the most basic facts. How does a democracy work or function under this propaganda? What happens when the truth forces a real crisis? Our current crop of experts are so wedded to the status quo that I fear for this country.

    It’s said that the ship of state is a big slow ship that can’t turn on a dime. My worry is that as the waterfall looms in the distance we haven’t decided which way to turn the wheel. It can’t start to turn till we can see reality, and make adjustments, I don’t know if we have the budget for that.

    Consider your parents who are the ones who vote, you’ve got to disturb THEM. They are the old who vote in numbers. Are they gonna cut entitlements? Are they gonna cut defense spending? Are they gonna pay for it? They are gonna vote their self interest, screwing all of us that are underwriting their destructive lifestyle.

    They gave us underfunded gov’t. They gave us this military industrial complex. They haven’t given us a net job in 25 yrs. They cut the top marginal tax rate on the really rich from 94% under Ike, 70% from Kennedy to Carter then to 28% under Reagan. This gutted our industries.

    When the top tax rate was over 50% on incomes over $1-5million it serves as a severe disincentive to take extra money. That money would go into re-investment (capital expenditures) lower incomes, hiring, or otherwise back into the economy. When taxes are low, it is cheap and easy for these managers to abscond with funds via outsized salaries.

  8. Straightshooter said on January 27th, 2010 at 9:58pm #

    Your posting reveals your lack of research and an irrational bias. Nowhere do you use the word “occupation,” “ethnic cleansing,” “dispossession” or “oppression.” Perhaps you are not aware that in 1947 and 1948 through terrorism, mass murder and rape, Jewish milita and the IDF expelled 800,000 Palestinians (according to Israeli sources), demolished 450 of their towns and villages and seized 72% of historic Palestine. It would also seem you are not aware that just before and during Israel’s first invasion of Egypt in 1956 (in collusion with Britain and France), Israel expelled an additional 25,000-30,000 Palestinians and a further 400,000 (along with 100,000 Syrian Druze and 30,000 Egyptians) during and after the war it launched on 5 June 1967. Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip (still occupied under international law) as well as Syria’s Golan Heights and Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms is a continuous and escalating gross violation of hard won international humanitarian law. The slaughter of innocents in the Gaza Strip (Operation Cast Lead) was utterly vile and fascistic, as was the illegal and inhumane siege before Israel broke the June 2008 truce with Hamas and the extent of the blockade is is even worse today. One can only wonder how far Israel would go in its pursuit of total dispossession and oppression of the Palestinians if the world was not able to watch events closely. Only a fool or a zionist zealot fails to recognize what Israel is: an expansionist, settler-colonialist, racist, occupier, ethnic-cleanser state; an insult to the six million Jews who perished at the hands of Hitler et al. and a defemation of their memory. Thankfully, day by day, the world is learning the truth and day by day, Israel is increasingly seen as an evil pariah state. Zionism is doomed. Its only attribute is that it contains the seeds of its own destruction.

  9. Straightshooter said on January 27th, 2010 at 10:03pm #

    Kudos to Dr. Ismail Zayid – a true humanitarian and a devoted champion of his long oppressed and victimized fellow Palestinians. The Crusader occupation of Palestine, in whole and in part, lasted 250 years. The zionist occupation will be measured in mere decades. It is already in an advanced state of decay. It could only be thus.

  10. jon s said on January 27th, 2010 at 11:05pm #

    The dictionary definition of terror is:
    “violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands”

  11. Maryb said on January 28th, 2010 at 1:49am #

    That is fourth in the list of definitions in Merriam-Webster.

    The first is 1 : a state of intense fear

    i.e. Well known to the people of Gaza esp. during Vilnai’s greater shoah enacted upon them a year ago.

  12. deceschi said on January 28th, 2010 at 3:36am #

    Straighthooter –
    since my postings are systematically censored by DV (freedom of expressions appears to be a hollow or arbitrary value here), I will not waste my time by answering to you in a extensive way.

    I can only say: you are wrong. Your interpretation of historical events are one-sided: you don’t mention the wars and terror attacks launched by the Arab armies and the Palestinian militants to weaken/destroy the new-born Jewish state. And also today the Palestinians – in particular Hamas, but also the PA – aren’t doing a good work for reconciliation. Obviously they believe they can get more through PR-pressure, asymmetric war, education to hostility, attempts to arrest Israeli politicians, international resolutions voted by a UN-council which is in the hands of a overwhelming majority of undemocratic states.

    Don’t expect you will have time to read this posting, it will already be censored. DV is not interested in a objective view of reality.

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain said on January 28th, 2010 at 5:55am #

    deceshi, judging by the sludge DV allows you to post one can only guess at the horrors of untruth,cynical hypocrisy and duplicitous double-standards, based on delusion of racial supremacy, that have been omitted. The central lie of the Zionist discourse is that Israel is the innocent party and her victims the aggressors. Now anyone with the least knowledge of the irrefutable facts knows this to be a lie. My eyes were opened years ago when, on the recommendation of an outstandingly decent and intelligent friend I read Chomsky’s ‘Fateful Triangle’. What immediately struck me was how deep and omnipresent was the lying on behalf of Israel, and how closely Israeli actions and the Zionist mentality resembled that of the German Nazis and other racially supremacist Western oppressors.
    It’s all there. The delusion that one represents some form of ubermenschen, whether Aryan, the Chosen People or simply Kipling’s ‘White Man’ with his ‘burden’. There is the even fouler belief that your victims are sub-human, untermenschen who may be obliterated, even women and children, if the Master Race so determines it. Then there is the lust for another people’s land, for ‘lebensraum’ coincidently in the East in both circumstances. Further similarities exist in the veneration of ‘blood and soil’, where the mythical claims of one group that occupied one part of the Near East for a few hundreds years, two thousand and more years ago, mysteriously trump the rights of others whose descendants have lived there, not just for the last two thousand years, but for tens of thousands of years before that. To add further insult to injury, while this proudly racist ‘Jewish’ state (not, of course a state of all its citizens, the 20% Arab minority being the ‘enemy within’ just awaiting eventual ‘transfer’ ie ethnic cleansing) welcomes Jews from around the world, although they over whelmingly represent descendants of converts to Judaism, not those with roots in Palestine, it refuses to abide by mere goyish so-called ‘International Law’ and allow the Palestinians it ethnically cleansed in 1947-8 and later, to return to their homes of millenia.
    Of course there are differences between German Nazism and the Israeli version. The Israelis have not yet reached the stage of mass industrialised extermination of their victims. They are still at the Lidice, Oradur, Warsaw Ghetto stage of occasional recreational massacres as in Gaza and Lebanon and the ongoing brutality of the illegal and diabolical Gaza siege. In any case I imagine if some future Israeli Government,and they are tending to become more vicious, more evil as the years roll by and resistance grows and the influence of religious-fascist elements in Israeli society burgeons, decides on open genocide it will be by neutron bomb, nothing as messy as gas chambers or Einsatzgruppen.
    As Scott points out, Zionist perfidy is just as much rooted in Judaic religion as it is in Western racism and colonialist fantasies. The Torah is a text-book of genocide, with admonitions to utterly exterminate Amalek, ‘God’s” sworn enemy, quoted even today, by Netanyahu’s inner circle, referring to Iran. At least two major Judaic festivals, Passover and Purim, celebrate massacres of innocents by Jews, in the dim past. That the religious fundamentalist segment of Jewry, that sees these massacres as sanctified, and is openly contemptuous and antipathetic towards all non-Jews, is coming more and more to dominate Israeli politics and the military, means we are bound to see even greater atrocities inflicted by this pitiless terror state, that sees its victims as ‘two-legged animals’, in the future.

  14. Rehmat said on January 28th, 2010 at 6:00pm #

    Haiti earth quake is the latest Israeli-US terrorism.

    On January 23, 2010 – Russian online daily Pravda claimed that Russian Northern Fleet indicates that the earthquake that devastated Haiti was clearly the result of US Navy weapon test meant for Islamic Iran. Venezuelan president Hugo Chevez has blamed Obama’s Zionist administration for using the disaster to occupy Haiti. Washington has dispatched 11,000 US soldiers to the country while blocking the humanitarian aid reaching the country. It’s feared that 200,000 people including 21 Canadian have died as the result of the eartquake.

    Avraham Zuroff writing in Israeli daily Arutz Sheva had reported that Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure’s Geographic Institute will carry-out a test in the southern Negev Desert in order to stimulate an earthquake on behalf of US Defence Department. according to the daily: “Israel will create a controlled explosion of 80 tons of explosive material which will stimulate the intensity of a tremor after an earthquake on magnitude 3. Natural earthquakes of similar intensity occur in the Middle East region about once a week without the public feeling them”.