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Friday, April 13, 2012

Alfred M. Lilienthal - The Zionist Connection II (A)





The Zionist Connection II
What Price Peace?

 By Alfred M. Lilienthal
 Printed and Published by
 Veritas Publishing Company (Pty.) Ltd.
P.O. Box 20, Bullsbrook, Western Australia, 6084
Telephone: (095) 71 8010
1983


"To the Jew as a man-everything: to Jews as a nation-nothing."
- Count Stanislas Clermont-Tonnerre
to the French Assembly, October 12, 1789

"Peace in Palestine cannot be achieved by force, but only through understanding."
Albert Einstein
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings."
William Shakespeare
 



  
 To Christians, Jews, Muslims and Non-Believers, living and dead, who have had not only the courage to place their concern for mankind above their allegiance to any group or sect but also the willingness to do battle in behalf of this conviction.
- Alfred M. Lilienthal
  
 
Excerpts      



 






I

II
III



IV
V
VI

VII
VIII
IX
X




XI
XII
XIII
XIV
XV



XVI

XVII
XVIII

XIX
XX
XXI
XXII
XXIII
XXIV

XV

Contents



INTRODUCTION

PART ONE. THE ORIGINAL SIN


Sixty-seven Words: One Man's Dream, Another's Nightmare
America Picks Up the Torch
The Creation of Israel Revisited

PART TWO. THE COVER-UP


Inside Israel
What Palestinians?
The Jewish Connection: Numbers Don't Count
Whose Congress: Thwarting the National Interest
Slanting the Myth-Information
Numero Uno: The New York Times
Terror: The Double Standard

PART THREE. THE COVER-OVER


Exploiting Anti-Semitism
The Blitz
The Holocaust: Stoking the Fires
Christians in Bondage
Soviet Jewry: Blackmail and Barter

PART FOUR. POLITICS OR POLICY

The Eisenhower, Kennedy. and Johnson Years
The Attack on Liberty
Oil on Troubled Waters: The Nixon Years
War Again
The Ford Interlude
Exit Henry Kissinger?
Enter Carter-and Then Begin
Reagan and Still Begin
The Ultimate Dichotomy: Israel Über Alles?
Conclusion: Toward Justice and Then Peace

Last Word
Notes
Index

 


1



9
29
46



103
146
206
239
271
314
357



403
421
460
486
513



535
561
577
614
631
664
679
724
743
776

806
811
877





Introduction

IF SOME COMPELLING justification was required for bringing a most controversial book, with a most unorthodox approach, before a world in which the human psyche has become far more attuned to the pleasant process of being softly lulled by Big Brother than to the painstaking task of absorbing upsetting, nonconsensus material, then the astounding November 19-20, 1977, pilgrimage of Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat to Jerusalem supplied the reason. The Middle East imbroglio, always complex, had now become "curiouser and curiouser," to borrow words from Alice in Wonderland.
Euphoric Americans clung to their video sets over that weekend. Sadat was addressing the Knesset--Egyptians and Israelis were not only talking to one another, but smiling. The "A-rabs" were at last willing to give up war. Peace, surely, must be on the way.
This wishful thinking of course overlooked the fact that since 1948 there had been two wars going on simultaneously in the Middle East. The one between Israel and the Arab states was only a secondary consequence of what Syrian President Hafez al-Assad has called the "mother question"-the conflict between the Israeli Zionists and the Arab Palestinians. While there was some possibility of a separate agreement ending the Egyptian-Israeli war, a solution for the core of the dangerous Holy Land conflict seemed as distant as ever.
The November 10, 1975, U.N. resolution equated Zionism with racism and racial discrimination, and for the first time placed the genesis of the continuing Middle East struggle squarely before a startled American public. But fervent supporters of Israel, Christians as well as Jews, reacted with unprecedented furor to the overwhelming U.N. censure and stirred the media to direct an equally unprecedented onslaught against the U.N., the Arab states, and the Third World bloc. The supporters of the resolution were denigrated with the charge "emulators of Hitler." The pro-Israel American public was led to believe that this was indeed but another attack on Jews and Judaism, a Nazi renaissance. The pertinency of this U.N. action to the continuing Arab rejection of the State of Israel was totally covered over by whipped-up emotionalism.
What is Zionism, and what is its connection with the Middle East conflict? How, if at all, is it differentiated from Judaism? Why has Organized Jewry, invariably an unequivocal exponent of the separation of church and state, condoned their union in an Israeli state demanding the allegiance of everyone everywhere who considers himself a Jew, whether he be an observant practitioner or not? What validity is there to the insistence of a persistent minority that anti-Zionism is the equivalent of anti-Semitism? Such questions may mystify 90 percent of Americans, yet the answers go to the very heart of the Middle East conflict.
It was the serious confusion between religion and nationalism that led directly to the 1948 establishment of the Zionist state of Israel in the heart of the Arab world, causing disastrous consequences for all concerned, including Americans whose government had played a major role in that nation-making. The resultant uprooting of Palestinian Arabs, whose numbers today have swollen to more than 1.6 million, many exiled for thirty years to refugee camps living on a U.N. dole of seven cents per day, brought down on the U.S. the enmity of an Arab-Muslim world, eroding a measureless reservoir of goodwill stemming from the educational and eleemosynary institutions America helped found. The creation of Israel, likewise, led to the penetration of the area for the first time by the Soviet Union, endangered the security interests of the U.S., and thrust the burden of a premature energy crisis into every American home.
However much the essence of Judaism may have remained as distinct as ever from Zionism, the nationalist shadow has so overtaken the religious substance that virtually all Jews have, in practice, become Israelists, if not Zionists. Many who mistrust the Zionist connotation can still have their cake and eat it, through Israelism.
While the vast majority of Jews in the Diaspora (the aggregate of Jews living outside of Palestine) do not believe in Zionist ideology, out of what is mistaken for religious duty they have given fullest support, bordering on worship, to Israel. Such worship of collective human power is just about as old as Pharaonic Egypt, and was practiced by the Sumerians, pre-Christian Greeks, and Romans as well. As Dr. Arnold Toynbee pointed out in A Study of History.
The prevalence of this worship of collective human power is a calamity. It is a bad religion because it is the worship of a false god. It is a form of idolatry which has led its adherents to commit innumerable crimes and follies. Unhappily, the prevalence of this idolatrous religion is one of the tragic facts of contemporary human life.
And these Jewish Zionists-Israelists have been joined by a large segment of articulate Christian opinion in the new worship of the State of Israel, which has been accorded the same privileges and immunities that have been vouchsafed to religionists who follow a genuine faith.
On every other issue of concern to Americans, both sides have invariably been publicly presented, no matter how controversial: the cigarette lobby vs. cancer research, the drug alarmists vs. the upholders of pot, traditionalists-oldsters vs. Beatles-hippies, civil rights gradualists vs. extremists, hawks and doves over Vietnam, pro-Watergate outcome vs. Nixon apologists-to mention but a few. It has only been on the subject of Jews, Zionism, and Israel that the U.S. and most of the Western world have had a near-total blackout. The mere presence of the powerful Anti-Defamation League, even before the fearsome "anti-Semitic" label might be brandished, has imparted a sensitivity so powerful as to smother any idea of private discussion, let alone public debate, on the grave issues involved.
The record of pressures, suppression, and terrorization practiced against many-including Presidents of the U.S., who in undisclosed memoranda, letters, and documents have entertained serious doubts about the course upon which Zionism has embarked-is massive and yet incomplete. The more submissive of the Victims of Jewish nationalist pressure have usually been either too ashamed or too afraid to publicize their experiences.
Rarely has the deceit of so few been so widely practiced to the disastrous detriment of so many, as in the formulation and implementation of U.S. Middle East policy. Guilt, fear, and the preoccupation with domestic politics rather than consideration of policy, justice, and security interests have molded the direction of the deep U.S. involvement. And if John Q. Citizen was unmindful of what was really taking place, it was largely due to the inordinate power of the media to penetrate the inner sanctum of every home with its slantings, distortions, and myth-information. "T'ain't people's ignorance," as Artemus Ward once quipped, "that does the harm, 'tis their knowin' so much that ain't so." Barnum notwithstanding, the media has been able to fool the people most, if not all, of the time.
The Watergate cover-up has to play second fiddle to the concealments in the Middle East fiasco for more than thirty years, involving, as it has, the continuous serious threat to world peace manifested by four regional wars and three serious Big Power confrontations, which only narrowly missed becoming World War III. The stationing of American technicians in the Sinai to help supervise the second Egyptian-Israeli disengagement accord may have been a step in the making of a new Vietnam. "One day," predicted a senior U.S. diplomat, according to Newsweek magazine, "there will be a congressional investigation into how we lost the Middle East that will make the great China debate seem trivial."
This book, it is hoped, will contribute to a great Middle East debate that should take place before, rather than after, catastrophe strikes again in that already harassed portion of the globe. Certain basic questions require. answers: "Whose legal and moral claim to Palestine is stronger, the Israeli Zionists or the Arab Palestinians? How, if at all, may these claims be reconciled? How may the U.S. protect its vast political and economic stake in the area and simultaneously continue to foster its special, unique relationship with Israel? Will the undeniable, overwhelming public statement of "never again," as to another Vietnam, be meticulously regarded in our pursuit of Middle East peace? And above all, this clincher: Will President Reagan and his policy advisers cease avoiding and openly face the central issue in the entire problem--not the existence of an Israeli state, nor even the nonexistence of a Palestinian state, but the kind of a state Israel has to become so as to bring lasting peace to the area?
For some time it has been apparent that someone would have to assume the burden of carefully examining the historical record of the Arab-Israeli conflict, starting with the "original sin" in uprooting the indigenous Arab Palestinians, and daring to articulate conclusions seldom aired. As Norman Thomas once observed, one of the Jewish faith is perhaps able to speak with "the necessary moral authority that no Gentile can express."
However strong the temptation may be for any author to succumb to the prevailing mood of his surroundings and to indulge in indiscriminate stereotyping, heightened by cliche's and slogans, I have tried to maintain a fair perspective and not to allow personal experiences to dull the observer's vision, nor instill too deep-seated a passion. It is out of sadness, not anger, that I am forced to conclude that in embarking upon the new path that Organized Jewry has hewn for it, prophetic Judaism has incurred an incalculable loss in moral values, which author Moshe Menuhin has described as "the Decadence of Judaism in Our Times." What else can account for the anomaly by which the once-persecuted have adopted the philosophy of their chief persecutor?
In doling out incarceration and death while sweeping through conquered Europe, did not the Führer undo the laws of emancipation for which so many Jews had so long struggled, as he decreed: "You are not a German, you are a Jew-you are not a Frenchman, you are a Jew, you are not a Belgian, you are a Jew"? Yet these are the identical words that Zionist leaders have been intoning as they have meticulously promoted the in-gathering to Israel (Palestine) of Jews from around the globe, even plotting their exodus from lands in which they have lived happily for centuries.
If at times this book seems unduly critical of Israel, and neglects to place in balance the oft-repeated arguments in its favor, it is simply because the gigantic propaganda apparatus of Israel-World Zionism has spun such extensive and deeply ingrained mythology that there is hardly enough space to refute widely accepted theses and expose the picture as it really is. The reader, however, is particularly cautioned to keep in mind at all times the very vital distinction between the State of Israel and the people of Israel. Nor can he overlook the fact that one of Western man's most precious possessions is the inalienable right to dissent. As Thomas Jefferson expressed it, "For God's sake, let us freely hear both sides."
This new, updated paperback edition has been published as an answer to the widespread demand to learn more about the untold side of a subject, the understanding of which may be vital to man's very existence.
In giving fair consideration to what to many will come as an astounding recital, my readers are asked to display what William Ellery Channing once defined as the free mind:
"I call that mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith, which opens itself to light whencesoever it may come, and which receives new truth as an angel from heaven."


- AL





Part Two. The Cover-Up


X   Terror: The Double Standard


And so, to the end of history, murder shall breed murder, always in the name of right and honor and peace, until the gods are tired of blood and create a race that can understand.

George Bernard Shaw. Caesar and Cleopatra

  
 IT IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to pick out the one particular subject of Middle East reportage the media has most slanted and distorted. But certainly the manner in which the use of violence has been presented probably has had the most influence in formulating American public opinion.
The media has succeeded in getting Western man to accept a double standard: one, that Jews and Zionists have been freedom fighters in pursuit of a moral, legal, historical imperative, namely, the establishment of their own state, Israel. On the other hand, the media has stressed that when Palestinians resorted to armed violence to regain their homeland, they were terrorists. Whereas the Hitler experience was readily invoked to condone Zionist intemperate acts, the desperate frustration of being deprived of their homes for thirty years, and any hearing for their grievances, was deemed no excuse for Palestinian excesses.1 The choice of words and pejorative adjectives, the shadings, the explanatory material spelling out the particular incident, and the amount of sympathy employed in describing the victims were all instrumentalities in applying this double standard.
As an example, few voices were allowed to be heard in dissent of the totally accepted Zionist labeling given the October war. One of these appeared on WEEI, the CBS outlet in Boston, three days after the fighting erupted. Following four callers, who were to varying degrees pro-Israel, the moderator introduced a soft-spoken voice unmistakably Indian or Pakistani, who complained of the use of slanted language by the reporters. He stated that the moderator had no right [357] [358] to call the war an act of aggression when all Egypt and Syria were trying to do was get back their own territory. Moderator Howard Nelson tried unsuccessfully to rebut the gentleman by reading the dictionary meaning of the word "aggression," totally refusing to take into consideration the initial 1967 Israeli seizure of Arab lands. The persistent questioner countered by pointing to the persistent media slanting. "Why is it, when Israelis hijack a Lebanese plane and force it to land in Israel, newscasters call it a 'diversion,' but when the Palestinians engage in air thievery, it is called 'hijacking.' Why," he asked again, "is there this double standard?"
A study 2 made of U.S. press reportage showed that although all acts of terrorism were generally bemoaned, Israeli actions were usually justified as responses to 'intolerable situations." The Washington Post, for example, justified the 1973 Israeli assassinations in Beirut as "the best kind of terrorism," since they killed "the worst kind of terrorists."3 In editorials dealing with the commandos, 95.2 percent of the coverage by the New York Times, 91 percent by the Washington Post, and 100 percent by the Detroit Free Press was against commando terrorist activity. While condemning the commandos, the Times did manage to publish three features indicating sympathy for the plight of the Palestinian refugees as refugees. The Washington Post had three editorials and one feature on the refugee problem.
Under rules of the media, the Israelis are "freedom fighters" and the Arabs are "terrorists," the Israelis "make reprisals" while the Palestinians "commit atrocities," the Arabs constantly stand vilified, the Israelis glorified. As stated in an October 1968 "Letter to Christians" signed by sixty-six ministers from nine denominations:
Westerners in general are already aware of what the Israeli feels: pride that he is once more, after so long, master in Palestine, where he no longer need apologize for being Jewish. But Westerners are not so aware of what the Arab feels: resentment at losing his land, humiliation at military losses, frustration at being unable to make his claims understood to the rest of the world....... Westerners should understand that the Arabic term for the underground fighters,fedayeen, means "those who sacrifice themselves," and that the Arabs compare them to the underground fighters in Europe during the Nazi occupation.4
This double standard came into play long ago and slowly permeated reporting from the outset of the struggle in Palestine, helping to mold the popular impression of events there. Most people became conditioned to believe that it was the Arabs alone who resorted to [359] violence. But the record of the Zionist use of violence in behalf of their cause, carefully blacked out from public surveillance,5 is a lengthy one that could be traced back to the days of the British mandate.
Violence was often used against their own, as on November 25, 1940, when the S.S. Patria was blown up in the Haifa harbor, killing 276 illegal Jewish immigrant passengers. At the time of the incident these deaths were attributed to the British, and it was not until ten years later that the responsibility for this disaster was placed at the door of the Zionists. David Flinker, Israeli correspondent of the Jewish Morning Journal (the largest Yiddish daily) described what had happened:
It was then that the Haganah General Staff took a decision at which their leaders shuddered. The decision was not to permit the Patria to leave Jaffa. The English must be given to understand that Jews could not be driven away from their own country. The Patria must be blown up. The decision was conveyed to Haganah members on the Patria and in the hush of night, preparations had begun for the execution of the tragic act. On Sunday, November 26, 1940, the passengers were informed by the English that they were being returned to sea. The Jews remained silent, save for a whisper from man to man to go "up the deck, all up the deck." Apparently, the signal did not reach everybody, for many hundreds remained below-never to see the light again. Suddenly an explosion was heard and a panic ensued.... It was a hellish scene; people jumped into the water, children were tossed into the waves; agonizing cries tore the heavens. The number of victims was officially placed at 276. The survivors were permitted by the High Commissioner to land.6
Fifteen months later the S.S. Struma exploded in the Black Sea, killing 769 illegal Jewish immigrants. The Jewish Agency described it as an act of"mass-protest and mass-suicide," and the U.S. media once more placed the responsibility for these deaths at the door of the British and their Palestine immigration policy.
There followed the assassination in Cairo on November 6, 1944, of Lord Moyne, the British Minister Resident; the Irgun's blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing ninety-one and injuring forty-five British and Arabs (subsequent evidence indicated the involvement of the Haganah and the Jewish Agency), and the 1947 dispatch of letter bombs to British Cabinet Ministers and the bomb attacks of December 11, in and near Haifa, killing eighteen Arabs and wounding fifty-eight others. In subsequent years the Arab-owned Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem was blown up, killing twenty persons, among them the Viscount de Tapia, the Spanish Consul. The Haganah admitted responsibility for the outrage. 360
In 1948, following the adoption of the U.N. partition resolution but prior to the May 15 promulgation of the Israeli state, Irgun, Stern Gang,7 or Haganah terrorists repeatedly struck with bombs, loads of explosives, or even armed forces at Arab civilians in villages, towns, and cities. The grossest outrage, of course, was the April 9 massacre at Deir Yassin of 254 women, children, and old men.
On September 17, 1948, U.N. Palestine Mediator Count Folke Bernadotte, nephew of Swedish King Gustav V, and his aide, Colonel Andre Pierre Serot, were assassinated by members of the Stern Gang while driving in the Israeli-controlled sector of Jerusalem. American Ambassador Stanton Griffis, convinced that the identity of the assassin was well known to the Israeli government, commented in his memoirs: "The murder of Bernadotte will remain forever a black and disgraceful mark on the early history of Israel."8
During a February 1977 press conference marking the publication in Israel of a new book on David Ben-Gurion, The Secret List of Heinrich Roehm, it was definitely admitted by author Dr. Michael Bar Zohar (writing in the U.S. under the name of Michael Barak) that the late Prime Minister had the names of the three who had carried out the assassination; one of them, Yehoshva Zeitler, was one of Ben-Gurion's best friends.9 Zeitler explained that "we executed Bernadotte because he was a one-man institution who endangered the status of Jerusalem by his declared intention of turning her into an international city. He was hostile to Israel from the moment the state was established and actually laid the foundation for the present U.N. policy of supporting the Arabs." The decision to kill Count Bernadotte had been taken by three Stern Gang leaders, Nathan Yelin-Mor, Dr. Israel Eldad-Scheib, and Zeitler, commander of activities in Jerusalem and an intimate friend of the first Prime Minister.
In 1950 Zionist agents in Baghdad threw bombs at a synagogue and at other Jewish targets in order to pressure Jews into emigrating to Israel. In 1953 the small Jordanian hamlets of Kibya and Nahalin, and the UNRWA refugee camp at Bureij in the Gaza Strip, were attacked; 102 villagers and refugees were killed. Between 1952 and September 1956, prior to the first Suez war, the Arab villages of Beit Jalu, Falame, Rantis, Bani Suhaila, Baheya, Gharandal, Wadi Fukin, and Gaza were shelled on raids, killing 118 civilians.
A few hours after the Israeli army began its march into Sinai on October 29, 1956, a curfew from 5 P.M. to 6 A.M. was imposed on Kafr Kassem and other villages of the Little Triangle within Israel. This curfew advance of one hour was transmitted at 4:45 P.M. to the Mayor of the village, who informed the Israeli officer in charge that a large number of villagers were working in the fields and could not be notified of the change; forty-nine villagers returning after 5 P.M., including fourteen women and small children in the arms of their mothers, were mowed down without any warning whatsoever by machine guns as they came in from their work.
These facts, suppressed for a long time, seeped through when the border policemen were finally brought to trial. The proceedings lasted more than two years, and the Israeli High Court passed light sentences: one officer received seventeen years, another fifteen years, three were acquitted, and five constables received sentences of seven years. All were set free one year later by government amnesty. And from the ever intensely active libertarian-human rights movement in the U.S., only silence. Identical reaction followed the 1966 Israeli armed force attack, including tanks and armored cars, practically wiping out the small Jordanian village of Es-Samu'a, killing eighteen and wounding fifty-four others.
By 1972, with the emergence of the PLO movement, Israeli espionage agencies concentrated their attention on individual Palestinians, who were struck down by letter bombs, regular bombs, and machine guns in Beirut,10 Los Angeles,11 Rome, 12 Tripoli ,'8 Stockholm, 14 Copenhagen,15 Paris,16 Cyprus,17 and in Oslo.18
The task of seeking out and destroying Palestinians known to be connected with recurring fedayeen attacks on Israelis rested with the Mossad, the Israeli version of the CIA, known familiarly as the "Institute." A special branch within Mossad, set up in 1972, had been responsible for the April 10, 1973, raid on Lebanon and the assassination of the three PLO leaders, Kamal Nasser, Mohammed Yusuf Najjar, and Kamal Adwan. The meticulously executed operation was part of a plan, "Operation: God's Wrath," under the command of Prime Minister Meir's Special Adviser on Security Affairs, General Aharon Yariv, whose goal had been the elimination of the 1,000 Palestinians capable of providing leadership to the movement. The elimination of this select number, it was thought, would liquidate the movement itself. And the outbreak of fierce fighting in Lebanon's civil war in the spring of 1975 facilitated other raids by the Israeli secret service, which soon added twenty-three victims to its roster.19
Starting with the December 28, 1968, helicopter raid on the Beirut Airport, Lebanon was the continuous site for Israeli attacks on civilians and civilian targets, most of which occurred in the south of the country. These commenced with a number of small raids in 1969 and 1970,[362] reported to the U.N. but generally ignored. In 1972 the Israeli armed forces began their serious raids with an attack on the Arkoub region, in which two civilians were killed; on the Nabatiyeh refugee camp, in which ten were killed; on Nahr al-Bared and Rafed and Rashaya-al Wadi camps, causing the deaths of sixteen; on Baddawi and Nahr-al Bared, killing twelve.
In April 1974 six South Lebanese villages were attacked by Israeli armed forces, and in May the village of Kfeir was bombed with four persons killed, including a woman and her seven-year-old daughter. Eleven days later Israeli planes again raided the refugee camp of Nabatiyeh and that of Ein-el-Helweh as well, killing fifty and wounding 200, and completely obliterating the former Palestinian site. On the 19th of the same month, Israeli naval units bombarded the Rashidiyeh refugee camp, killing eight civilians. The next month the Israeli planes returned to bomb three U.N. camps, killing seventy-three and wounding 159. In July Israeli naval units raided Tyre, Sarafund, and Saida, sinking twenty-one fishing boats. The aerial bombing and ground raids of Lebanese towns and U.N. refugee camps in the south of the country continued into 1975.
The idealization of Zionist terror, far beyond mere condonation, assumed its inexorable course when twenty-two-year-old Egyptian Jew Eliahu Betzouri and his seventeen-year-old friend Eliahu Hakim slew Lord Moyne in 1944. Years after the conviction, David Ben-Gurion admitted "his reverence for the dedicated patriots who were hanged in Cairo" for this assassination of Great Britain's Resident Minister. (Israel's first Prime Minister also referred to terrorist Abraham Stern, the poet who founded the group bearing his name, as "one of the finest and most outstanding figures of the era.")
The reportage on the trial by such illustrious newsmen of the day as the Times' C.L. Sulzberger, AP's Relman Morin, and UP's Samir Souki featured the defense counsel and the defendants' condemnation of the British administration for graft, anarchistic rule, and acts of injustice. Popular sympathy was established in the U.S. with the young "heroes," even though in his House of Commons eulogy of the slain British Minister of State, Prime Minister Winston Churchill referred to "the shameful crime" and boldly declared: "If our dreams for Zionism are to end in the smoke of assassins' guns and our labors for its future to produce only a new set of gangsters worthy of Nazi Germany, then many like myself will have to reconsider the position we have maintained so consistently and so long in the past." No wonder that political adviser to the Jewish Agency Leo Cohen, after listening to the Churchill BBC broadcast, stated: [363]
When I think how proud we have been that Zionism could come before the world with clean hands as a creative movement of the highest order, and when I think of what those boys have been led to do... it is something so exasperating, so awful and dreadful.
But Churchill's reassessment never reached fruition, and the Western world's honeymoon with Zionism continued. Chaim Weizmann had written at the time to Churchill: "I can assure you that Palestine Jewry will, as its representative bodies have declared, go to the utmost limits of its power to cut out, root and branch, this evil from its midst."20 Two years after that assurance, the Anglo~American Committee of Inquiry in its report was still requesting the Jewish Agency "to resume active cooperation with the Mandatory Authority in the suppression of terrorism and of illegal immigration and in the maintenance of that law and order throughout Palestine which is essential for the good of all, including the new immigrants."21
Author Gerold Frank, who ghosted Bartley Crum's Behind the Silken Curtain and Jorge Garcia-Granados' The Birth of Israel, both extremely pro-Israel books, had the final word to say in his elegy to the Moyne assassins in his book, The Deed: 22
Here in the remote corner [the cemetery of Bassatin which contains the bodies of such great Jews as Moses Maimonides], amid the debris and neglect of ages one finds a single square stone, not large~two feet high, three feet wide-no names on it, but in Hebrew "pray for their souls." Beneath it, Eliahu Hakim and Eliahu Betzouri sleep together, as they were buried in one coffin, curled in each other's arms as children. They lie curled together like sleeping children under the eternal stone. No one guards their grave now. The sands of the desert blow, nothing grows there, and no weeds, no foliage. Only the sifting, creeping yellow dust over everything, and in the cloudless sky a molten sun. In the ancient earth in the nameless grave they lie together under the imperishable stone. Few remember them now.
This is how the people have been prepared to accept Zionist acts of violence and to judge the continuing conflict. Thus when the Irgun led by Menachem Begin 25 blew up the King David Hotel and some of his followers were apprehended, the compassionate but often misled Eleanor Roosevelt wrote to Lady Reading, a friend in England: "If these young people are killed, there will be without any question a sense of martyrdom and a desire for revenge which will only bring more bloodshed. A generous gesture will, I think, change the atmosphere."
A special variation on the double standard is to be seen in the handling of espionage activities by the Israelis and their Arab counterparts. [364] [365] As to the Israeli cause, the end always justifies the means. The Zionists and Israelis are admired no matter what dirty tricks they use, often by the very people who are the first to condemn the use of "dirty tricks" at home, by the CIA or other American intelligence-espionage agencies. The Zionists and Israelis are allowed to break all the rules of international law, and to make their own. The kidnapping of Adolph Eichmann from Argentina was only the best publicized of many instances of how the Israelis have been able to get away with defying international edict. Imagine if the CIA were to kidnap some wanted criminal for crimes against the American people! Imagine if the Arabs were to abduct an Israeli for crimes against the Palestinians! Yet so long as it is Jews, Israelis, Zionists - everything goes.
This has long been true in the attitudes toward Israeli spies. One of the major instances of this, now forgotten by most of the few people who ever knew about it, was the Lavon Affair that once rocked Israel to the very core.
After the Egyptian revolution of 1952, relations between the U.S. and the new Gamal Abdel Nasser government steadily improved. Cultural and economic agreements between Egypt and other Arab states and the U.S. were being discussed, and it was sincerely hoped that the U.S. would aid the projected Aswan Dam development program. By 1954 American Ambassador Henry Byroade's personal friendship with Nasser seemed likely to produce results. A U.S. aid program of $50 million had been started.
The situation was viewed in high Israeli quarters as a grave threat to the continued flow of American dollars into Israel from public, if not private, sources. A direct severance of relations between Egypt and the U.S. was deemed desirable. An Israeli espionage ring was sent to Egypt to bomb official U.S. offices and, if necessary, attack American personnel working there so as to destroy Egyptian-U.S. relations and eventually Arab-U.S. ties. The creation of simulated anti-British incidents was calculated to induce the British to maintain their Suez garrison. Several bomb incidents involving U.S. installations in Egypt followed.
Small bombs shaped like books and secreted in book covers were brought into the USIA libraries in both Alexandria and Cairo. Fish skin bags filled with acid were placed on top of nitroglycerin bombs; it took several hours for the acid to eat through the bag and ignite the bomb. The book bombs were placed in the shelves of the library just before closing hours. Several hours later a blast would occur, shattering glass and shelves and setting fire to books and furniture. Similar bombs were placed in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Theater and in other American owned business buildings.24
In December two young Jewish Egyptian boys carrying identical bombs were caught as they were about to enter U.S. installations. Upon their confession, a sabotage gang of six other Jews was rounded up. Five more were implicated in the plot. The conspirators, who received sentences ranging from fifteen years to life, were the objects in the U.S. of multifold sympathetic editorials and articles. Nothing appeared in print at the time to refute the image that this had been but another Nasser conspiracy to unite his country against Israel. The cry "anti-Semitism" widely reverberated.
In 1960 an investigation in Israel called attention to the forgery of an important document in what had been announced as a "security mishap" that had precipitated the resignation of Pinhas Lavon as Minister of Defense in 1955. Shimon Peres, then Deputy Minister of Defense, and Moshe Dayan had, with the forgery, attempted to place the legal responsibility for the unsuccessful 1954 sabotage attempt at Lavon's door. Ben-Gurion had fought the reopening of the case, but a subsequent rehearing revealed that Lavon had been an innocent victim of the machinations of Peres, Dayan, and Brigadier Abraham Givli.
Even though the army, through censorship, attempted to cover up its own blunders, the affair led to a Cabinet crisis and the resignation of the Ben-Gurion government in 1961. As late as December 29, 1960, the Times was still referring to the scandal only as "a disastrous adventure in 1954." As the already abnormal ties between Israel and the U.S. grew stronger, scant attention was paid to the disclosure in Israel of this blatant attempt to torpedo U.S.-Arab relations.
In 1971 one of the spies who figured in the Lavon Affair, Marcelle Ninio, broke into the headlines of Israel and of the satellite Israeli press in the U.S. Ninio, the only woman involved in the affair that so rocked the political life of Israel, had been exchanged for Egyptian prisoners of war after the June 1967 war, along with Victor Levy, Robert Dassa, and Philip Nathanson, her cosaboteurs, and "Champagne Spy" Wolfgang Lotz, who had been apprehended in 1965 after four years of spying in Egypt. According to a five-paragraph story in the New York Times of November 16, 1971, Premier Golda Meir was to attend the wedding of a girl "who at the age of 16 was convicted of espionage for Israel and spent 10 years in an Egyptian jail." The Lavon Affair was referred to as a "mysterious sabotage mission inside Egypt" in 1954, about which "full details remain a secret." [366] [367]
The entire tone of the article suggested innocence on the part of Israel and of the bride-to-be. It had been just another case of those "hating Egyptians" trying to put a spy rap on a nice Jewish girl. The New York Post carried a four-column story on page 4, "Israeli Heroine to Marry," and referred to the "dark-haired woman who spent fifteen years in a Cairo prison for alleged sabotage activities."
Both newspapers slanted the reportage, withholding undisputed facts in this true spy story. Although the so-called "heroine" had been deeply involved in proven espionage, seventeen years later the same "editorial papers" were compounding the felony they had originally committed. To avoid presenting the established facts of Israeli sabotage against the U.S., which had involved Israeli Cabinet ministers Dayan and Peres, the Times covered up the affair in this fashion: "The mission quickly was shown to be a far-fetched idea."
When Israeli spy Elie Cohen, alias Kamal Amin Tabas, was uncovered by Syrian intelligence and hanged in Damascus, an angry hue and cry arose in the West, led by the media with photos (front page of the New York Times) of the condemned's body hanging in the public square. Two popular books, Our Man in Damascus 25 by Eli Ben-Hanan and The Silent Warriors 26 by Joshua Tadmor translated from the Hebrew by Israeli Ha'aretz. U.S. correspondent Raphael Rothstein, made a martyr of the spy (the latter tome was dedicated ironically enough to Elie Wiesel, the godfather of anti-anti-Semitism) and attacked the lack of a fair trial to which the press was not admitted. In the course of their glorification of the Israeli superspy, the authors unwittingly further proved his guilt. Cohen had been arrested in Egypt as part of the Lavon Affair spy ring but held only for two years, released, and then had joined Israel's Secret Service as a trained espionage agent with Damascus to be the base of his operations. As an Oriental Jew he was fluent in Arabic and was scarcely distinguishable from any Muslim or Christian Arab. Most of the important Israeli spies were Arab Jews.
Cohen cleverly worked his way into affluent social and political circles in Damascus, even becoming acquainted with General Amin el-Hafez, who was to come into power in March 1963. Through his contacts Cohen was able to ascertain the number, type, and placement of MIG-21 planes, T-54 tanks, and other Soviet armament, which Syria was receiving from the Soviet Union, as well as Damascus plans for the construction of a canal as counterdiversion of the Daniyas, one of the principal sources of the Jordan River.
The incalculably invaluable information smuggled out to Israel until his apprehension was an important factor in his country's success in the six-day war. This was never alluded to in any way by the American press in their accounts of the "martyred" spy. But author Rothstein sharply pointed this up: "Now the peaceful Golan Heights, where Russian tanks lie rusting and concrete fortifications are piles of rubble, is a tourist attraction, and much of the credit for this turn of events belongs to Israel's silent hero, Elie Cohen."
In the fall of 1972 the major capitals in Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S. were rocked by a spate of letter and package bombs. This phase of the lethal-letter war opened with the letter-bomb killing of an Israeli diplomat in his London office. Coming on the heels of the Munich tragedy, biased world public opinion was only too ready to believe that these acts had been the responsibility of the Palestinian Black September group, although the strict security watch at the Israeli Embassy had intercepted seven other letters, only one of which contained a leaflet boasting Black September sponsorship. Upon close examination it remained very much of an open question who had been sending what bombs to whom.
According to neutral observers in Britain, while the popular press tended to lean sympathetically toward the Israelis, "the serious press was more objective. After the thirteen letter bombs intercepted in London in November, British Jewry was talking of retribution, but so far as can be seen, there is no evidence to support the theory that Black September is behind the current wave of incidents." British writers, including those of the London Times, viewed evidence of the Palestinian complicity as "uneasy." Yet in the U.S. there was no indecision. The minds of the public were made up for them by the American press and the politicians, although a New York City episode took on the aura of a Hitchcock movie gone awry.
In October, letter bombs addressed to two retired officials of Hadassah (Women's Zionist Organization) were discovered when they failed to detonate. Mrs. Rose Halprin, who had not been president since 1952, allegedly received one at her East Side home. There were fifteen Halprins in the 1972 Manhattan telephone directory, eighteen in the edition a year earlier. There was no listing for Rose Halprin. It was difficult to understand how a group of Palestinians 5,000 miles away could ever have obtained her name let alone her address.
The second letter had been addressed to a one-time executive director (one newspaper referred to her as Hannah Goldberg and another as Mrs. Hannah Rosenberg) and was opened under police supervision without it exploding.27 Following the apprehension of the letter bombs addressed to the New York women, Mayor John Lindsay [368] [369] released this statement: "Terror by mail is the latest, and in some ways, the most vicious technique yet devised by conspirators against Israel. To direct it at two outstanding ladies of Hadassah here reaches a low in the politics of terror."
At the same time a number of letter bombs sent to the Israeli Mission to the U.N. were also intercepted. (One of these was supposedly addressed to a diplomat not even as yet listed in the U.N. directory.) A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy was quick to be quoted:' The letters sent to New York show that the terrorist organization is not just anti-Israeli, as they claim, but anti-Jewish throughout the world." And to further this impression that the Palestinians posed a threat to all Jews, two letter bombs, also mailed from Penang, appeared in Rhodesia, sent to residents of Bulawayo. One had been addressed to prominent young Zionist leader Colin Raizon, another to the mother of Rhodesian Olympic weight lifter John Orkin. Both were intercepted by the police.
Was it more than a coincidence that the letter bombs, sent to the Hadassah and to the Israeli Mission, all of which were intercepted, were received at a time when Israel was doing its best to coordinate its efforts with those of the U.S. in forcing the Legal Committee of the U.N. to adopt an antiterrorist pact with muscle as a means of further restraining the operations of the Palestinian guerrillas?
This alleged introduction of bombs into the U.S., following in the wake of the Munich Olympics incident, played a major role in moving federal authorities to initiate a "dragnet" investigation and interrogation and surveillance of Arab residents and students in the country. Cracking down on Arabs and restrictive measures against all travelers passing through the U.S. was the inevitable result.
On October 26, on page 2 in a five-column headline, the readers of the New York Times were told: "Israel Intercepts Letter Bombs Mailed to Nixon, Rogers and Laird." The story pointed out that the latest letter bombs were "similar to those mailed to Jews in various countries from Amsterdam last month by the Arab guerrilla organization known as the 'Black September.' One letter bomb killed an official in the Israeli Embassy in London."
Two days later a UPI story, carried on certain radio stations, revealed that an American tourist, twenty-two-year-old Dennis Feinstein from Stockton, California, had been arrested by the Israeli police as he attempted to cross over into Lebanon. He was being held on suspicion of mailing letter bombs to top American officials. The story appeared in some papers, including the Washington Post.
The Times News Summary and Index of the city edition on October 28 listed for page 3 under "International": "Israel holds American in mailing of letter bombs." But not one line of the story appeared in that edition. In the later edition the listing was deleted from the Index. In page 3 of the earlier edition there had been an unclear, meaningless photo of "men with opposing views scuffling on a Santiago, Chile, street," which appeared to have been dropped in as a last-minute filler replacement in a spot where the Israeli story might have initially been intended to go. New copy replaced this photograph on page 3 in the later edition.
It took the Sunday Times of December 24, 1972 in a lengthy article, "How Israelis Started the Terror by Post," to place the responsibility for the spate of bombs. As noted by other European observers, it was out of character for the Black September not to have claimed "credit" for these incidents, as they had done instantaneously at the time of Munich and invariably on other occasions.
With the exception of the first London bomb, which just missed detection, the bomb in the Bronx post office, and the one mailed from India, which injured jeweler Vivian Prins in London, all the other numerous letter bombs sent in Europe and the U.S. to Jews and Jewish organizations were somehow intercepted or proved to be duds. In contrast, almost all of the bombs addressed to Arabs and Palestinians worked successfully. The device for these bombs is very simple, and they have been generally termed to be uniformly deadly. In the words of the police in New York regarding the Hadassah letters: "They failed to detonate even though the trigger was lying directly against the blasting cap." And the Palestinians proved on many occasions their ability to handle infinitely more sophisticated weapons than these.
While the invention of the letter bomb went back to a brilliant but unbalanced Swedish chemist, Martin Eckenberg, who killed himself at the age of forty-one in a London prison in 1910, Zionist terrorists, the Stern Gang and the Irgun, had brought the weapon to the Middle East. In 1947 letter-bomb campaigns were directed against prominent British politicians believed to be unsympathetic to the Zionist goal of establishing a state in Palestine, and figured in the internationally publicized incident in which the brother of a British officer, Roy Farran, who had been acquitted of murdering a Jewish youth in Palestine, was killed by a parcel bomb admittedly sent by the Stern Gang.
The Zionist apparatus literally exploded when a Times front-page story headlined an excerpt from Margaret Truman's book alleging a 1947 letter-bomb attempt by the Stern Gang on the life of her father. [370][371] The Anglo-Jewish press across the country reverberated with criticism, one newspaper going so far as to make the familiar charge of "anti-Semitism." In a New York Times Letter to the Editor, Benjamin Gepner, who identified himself as the U.S.-Western Hemisphere leader of the "Stern Group," insisted that it was absurd even to think that there could have been such a plot against the President. The letter-bomb attempt apparently had taken place at a time when the Chief Executive was urging Zionists to be more restrained in their demands and to become more sensitive to the Palestinian plight. Aside from the fact that the authoress had little reason to pull this assassination attempt out of the air, the Stern Gang's own long record of terror supported the plausibility of the story.
Explosive devices were widely used by the Israelis in a broad campaign directed against German scientists working in Egypt in 1962 and 1963. A bomb placed in a gift parcel exploded, killing scientist Michael Khouri and five others with him, and an attempt was made on the life of Dr. Hans Kleinwachter, another scientist. Another package addressed to a West German scientist working in Cairo blew up when opened, blinding his German secretary. The daughter of German scientist Dr. Paul Goerke was threatened with a similar fate.
The Israelis succeeded in their reign of terror. Almost to a man, the West German scientists working on the development of rockets for President Nasser's army quit their Egyptian positions and returned home. This is recounted in detail in The Champagne Spy,28 authored by Israeli spy Wolfgang Lotz, who boasted of having sent messages out of Cairo on the wireless hidden in his bathroom scales to his chief, saying that he was "sure we can induce additional German scientists to leave by dispatching more threatening letters and seeing that they are published in the German press." After a public reprimand by Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, Israeli Security Chief Iser Halprin resigned in an admission of Israeli complicity in the campaign against the Germans.
There were still other bomb varieties in which the Israelis excelled. Prior to the June 1967 war, the Chief Intelligence Officer in the Gaza Strip and' the Egyptian Military Attache' in Jordan were both killed by book bombs. In the wake of the 1972 Lydda Airport massacre, the Palestine Popular Front's spokesman, Ghassan Kanafani, was blown up when a plastic bomb attached to the exhaust of his car exploded. And a series of booby-trapped letters, sent that fall, killed or badly injured a dozen senior Arab guerrillas and prominent Palestinians in Beirut.
Following the Kanafani death, Ma'ariv the Israeli daily, wrote: "The terrorists' statement linked the death of Kanafani to Israel and accused her of mounting this operation. Israel does not deny this or confirm it." Some eleven days following this incident, Anis Sayegh, a Director of the Palestinian Research Institute in Beirut, received an envelope ostensibly addressed to him from the Islamic Higher Council. When he opened it, it exploded, causing him partial blindness and the loss of three fingers. Within the same time period, another mail parcel exploded in the hands of the Director of a Beirut bank and the security officers of the Fateh in Beirut. (One had to closely scan the small print and the back pages of the Times to find a line or two, if that, about these incidents.)
In putting together all the pertinent bits of this tragic history, this observation is very much in order: The terrorists of yesterday have since become Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, Generals, and other VIPs of the Israeli state of today, and the armies that brought Israel its "liberation" and widely employed terror-the Haganah, Irgun, and the Stern Gang-have become the victorious armies of Israel today. While letter bombs and other forms of terrorism have been used by both sides, it was the Israelis who introduced them into the Middle East and made, as usual, the perfect propaganda use of the deadly explosives. For it was the exploitation of terror, above all, that continued to provide the public excuse for the adamant Israeli refusal to recognize the PLO, which for so long was supported by the Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations and greatly complicated the task of reaching a Middle East settlement.
No single act so totally equated the Palestinians with terror than the killing of the Israeli athletes at the Olympic games in Munich. In the early morning of September 5, 1972, eight Palestinian guerrillas (newspapers more often referred to them as "Arabs" because that word evoked stronger sparks of hatred) invaded Olympic Village in Munich by climbing over a fence and forcing their way into the dormitories of the Israeli team, where they killed two athletes and took nine others as hostages. The guerrillas demanded the release of two hundred of their compatriots held in Israeli jails and an airplane to take them to an unspecified Arab capital. Israel, consistent with her longstanding policy, refused to negotiate with the Palestinians, but high German authorities attempted to do so, offering to pay unlimited ransom and even to substitute four of themselves for the hostages.
After lengthy parleying and three extensions of the original noon deadline, the Arab guerrillas and their Israeli hostages were flown fifteen miles by helicopters from Olympic Village to the NATO Fuerstenfeldbruck Airport, [371] [372] where they had been told they could board a Lufthansa jet for an Arab airport. Five German sharpshooters backed up by police waited to confront the eight Palestinians. Two guerrillas left the helicopter to inspect the Boeing 727 on which they planned to head for Tunisia. The Germans opened fire. One of the three helicopters was set afire by an exploding grenade thrown by one of the Palestinians as he jumped from the helicopter. But a German government spokesman reported that the hostages were all safe. Three hours later the Olympics Committee announced that all the hostages had been killed.
In the course of the official government inquiry into the airport shootout, Police Chief Manfred Schreiber admitted he had lost control of the situation during the shooting.29 The original police announcement claimed that the guerrillas had fired first, but most eyewitnesses agreed that the sharpshooters had opened fire. Under dispute, until today, was how the Israeli hostages died: Was it when the Arabs blew up the helicopter, or had they already been killed by Arab machine-gun fire? It also was not beyond the realm of possibility that some had died at the hands of German bullets intended for the guerrillas.
It has never been established that the airport battle was necessary. All discussion of this very moot point was summarily dismissed by Police Chief Schreiber-and by the U.S. media-with the unsubstantiated allegation that the Arabs would have murdered the hostages en route had they been allowed to leave the airport. This presumption was in no way supported by the meticulous care and consideration shown their hostages by the Palestinian hijackers of the U.S. and European planes in the September 1970 incident in Jordan (or by the treatment accorded in other later hijackings up through Entebbe in the summer of 1976).
Five and a half months later, on February 21, 1973, a Libyan Boeing 727 with 113 civilians aboard was callously clawed out of the sky by Israeli fighter planes over Israeli-occupied Egyptian territory of the Sinai, about twelve miles from the Suez Canal. Some 102 passengers and 8 crewmen were killed immediately or later died, including 27 women and children. The plane had overflown Cairo, losing its way in a terrible sandstorm, when it was intercepted by Israeli fighters, whom the French pilot mistook for a friendly escort of Egyptian MIGs. The aircraft had already turned around and was headed toward Cairo, nine minutes away, when it was shot down.
The Israeli version, supported by Moshe Dayan press conferences, insisted that the plane had penetrated "probably the most [373] sensitive area held by Israel," that warnings had been given, that instructions to land had been ignored by the pilot, and that the 727 was not shot down but crashed after landing. The Defense Minister contended that the Israeli fighter pilots had signaled the Libyan plane pilot for fifteen minutes (in that time the plane would have been past Israel and well over the Mediterranean). And from the outset this Israeli fairy tale was accepted - even embroidered upon - by the American press, radio, and television.
If the media had indulged a bit more in research and study and less in generating hysteria and hatred, they would have discovered a perfect precedence in Israel's 1955 stand when an El Al plane, which had strayed into Bulgarian airspace, was shot down and fifty-eight lives were lost. In a lawsuit brought in the International Court of Justice at Geneva, Israel successfully argued:
It is the duty of any person who seeks to interfere with the normal flying of civilian aircraft by ordering it to land at a designated airport not to deliberately and unreasonably increase the inherent risks and certainly not to provoke completely new and unwarranted hazards inevitable when modern armaments were intentionally brought into play. The Bulgarian admission shows that these safeguards were not discharged. The heart of the present case is that fire was opened on the 4XAK which in the space of a few minutes was callously clawed out of the sky and destroyed. The Israeli government contended that no rule of law, not the liberal interpretations of any provision of the Chicago convention governing international aircraft, nor the rules of general international law, would permit such a degree of violence.
The generally accepted practice is to try to "box" the plane in and lead it in the correct direction. And the Libyan Boeing was already moving out of the danger zone when it was blown to smithereens.
The language used in page-one headlines of the New York Times the day after the incident carefully concealed what had taken place: "Israelis Down a Libyan Air Liner in the Sinai, Killing at Least 74 - Say it Ignored Warnings to Land... Jet Crash-Lands." The Times, the Post, and other big-city presses avoided the use of the words "shot down," trying to give an impression that the jet crashed on its own after warnings to land.
The media's obvious aim was to exculpate Israel of any possible guilt and place the guilt on the French pilot, who had been on loan to Libyan Airways, for his refusal to listen to the warnings. Varied types of the art of slanting went into the reportage to the American people. There was, for example, slanting by placement-whatever the Arabs [374] [375] said, including Cairo and Libya, was relegated to unimportant positions; whatever Israel said went into headlines. In other previous air tragedies the papers invariably showed pictures of pretty stewardesses; There were no pictures of the Libyan airline stewardesses in this instance. In fact, there was no picture at all of survivors, which might have evoked some sympathy for the Arab victims. All one saw or read was condonation and excuse of the Israelis.
At the time of the Munich killing of Israeli athletes, banner headlines carried "the expression of horror by leaders around the world." Bold headlines ran: Head of UN Condemns Raid as Dastardly." But Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim's statement that he "deplored" the fact that a civilian plane had been shot down, and his expression of shock, concern, and condolences on the shooting down of the Libyan airliner, were reported only in the early editions of the New York Post and buried away, the seven-line account obscured under a tiny head: "Waldheim [his name without his title is not familiar] Expresses Shock."30 The quoted Israeli fear that "the Israelis could not guarantee that it was not a kamikaze plane loaded with explosives headed for an Israeli city" was featured prominently and made to sound plausible. And the only mention of the terrible blinding sandstorm, which caused the Libyan plane to lose its way, was as an incidental reference to the more than two-hour delay to Israeli helicopters taking off with wounded survivors.
The front page of the Daily News in New York 31 carried this bold headline: "Israelis Down Arab Jet." The readers had to turn to page 2 to discover that it had been a civilian airliner. The New York Post headlines were also of interest. The first was: "Israel Forces Down Libya Jet-70 Die." A little later in the day: "Israel Downs [never "shoots"] Libya Airliner; 70 Killed." And then in the continuation off this first page, they reverted to the original headline of the earlier edition: "Israel Forces Down a Libyan Jet; 70 Die."
Where the Times' story on the Israeli emergency Cabinet meeting featured the Israeli claim that the pilot had acknowledged the warnings and interception signals, the New York Post even went further into the realm of the fanciful, quoting an Israeli newspaper account that the pilot had radioed his pursuers: "We cannot obey your orders because of the political situation. This area does not belong to you." While this yarn was being spread through the combined wire services across the country, the correspondent of Israeli journal Ha'aretz was spreading other propaganda on a two-hour talk show over New York radio station WMCA. Under the usual "fair" media arrangements, the former [375] President of the Zionist Organization of America, another articulate Israelist, and this Israeli writer were pitted against the editor of Middle East Perspective. The "moderator" of this program three days later was among the six commentators of the same station who interviewed prominent guests from Israel, representatives of Israeli-oriented national and international organizations, and their American counterparts in a continuous twenty-five-hour broadcast tribute to Israel's first quarter century.
The Times which scarcely waits minutes to execute moral judgment editorially, remained silent the day after the plane shooting, although the tragedy had been known in the U.S. before noon the day before. On the third day the editorial page spoke out under the title: "Tragic Blunder." Its words, "horrifying blunder" and "act of callousness," like slapping a child on the wrist for eating too much candy, could be contrasted to those used in its editorial six months earlier on the Olympics tragedy, "Murder in Munich": "Arab fanatics... homicidal hatred... indiscriminate murder... innocent lives snuffed out."32 The editorial reluctantly conceded that the tape of the pilot's exchange with the Cairo control tower "lent credence, though not conclusive evidence" that the pilot had no idea that he would be subject to an air attack if he did not land. The publication's principal concern appeared to be the effect the incident would have on Israel's image and its case before the U.S. public.33
The murder in Khartoum on March 2, 1973, by the Black September movement of one Belgian and two American diplomats was as sickening an act as the shooting down of the Libyan plane and in no way condonable. As the author of The Game of Nations, 34 Miles Copeland, noted in National Review, "The Palestinian movement is a breeding ground, as is any homeless, idle and hungry population, for what we might call 'unstructured rebellion'-that is, rebellion against things in general, toward no clear goal."35
Whereas the Times waited three days to publish its editorial on the Libyan incident, less that six hours after the Khartoum deaths had been announced, the editorial page was attacking the act as "lunacy at large."36 Bias was shown not only in the speed with which the paper reacted but in the words of its editorial: "The Palestinian extremists made their move just as Arab propaganda machinery was spinning forth outrage against Israel for the shooting down of an unarmed Libyan airliner . . . Such talk now is even less appropriate than ever " (Italics added.)
Where the plane had been obviously shot down on what was still [376] [377] Egyptian territory but occupied by Israel, not a single news program on the three major television networks mentioned this fact. CBS' Walter Cronkite declared the plane had been shot down over Israeli territory. 37
After the Israeli government reluctantly admitted that the crucial black box, recording communications between the Libyan plane and the ground control tower and conversations among those in the pilot's cockpit, had revealed that the French pilot had actually thought he was surrounded by friendly Egyptian MIGs showing him the way home, the New York Times continued to cover up Israeli guilt. The front page of February 24 contained two six-column photos, one captioned "Five Israeli military chaplains read psalms as the coffins [crude, unpainted fruit crates with crooked nails protruding and shrouds showing] of victims of the downed plane are placed on a boat." The other, "A military cortege on the Egyptian side of the Suez Canal waiting for the first boat." The glowing headline, "100 Bodies of Jet Victims Taken Over Suez to Egypt," the reportage, and the publication of the Dayan offer of partial compensation endowed the Israelis with great acts of magnanimity.
The sole headlined reference to the important revelations of the flight recorder was ambiguously set forth in this manner: 'Israel Confirms Cairo Data." This admission only followed the substantiation by U.S. intelligence sources, which had also monitored the conversation. One had to read well into the article to discover that the important black box had confirmed the control tower tape, played at the press conference two days earlier, the authenticity of which the Times had then questioned.
In his endeavor to exculpate the Israelis from the guilt the International Civil Aviation Organization had voted 105 to 1 to fasten upon them, the Times' Robert Lindsey, in a June 7 article headlined: "Sinai Crash Study Notes Confusion," unwittingly blew up another Israeli myth widely circulated at the time of the tragedy by his paper: that the curtains of the windows of the Boeing had been closed and therefore the Israelis could not see that the plane carried passengers.
As on so many other occasions, the Times proved to be more Israelist than the two leading Israeli papers, Ma'ariv and Ha'aretz. One Israeli columnist noted that the downing of the plane had been kept secret for three or four hours before publication of any announcement, which in itself created at the outset a number of question marks. It was the first time in the history of civil aviation that a plane had crashed in an area easily reachable and yet, for twenty-four hours, it was impossible to get a picture of the wreckage. Requests to visit the site were rejected without explanation. Emergency arrangements for the press were refused. Nor was the spokesman for the Israeli defense forces available for any queries or questions until twenty-four hours later, when reporters had a right "to ask themselves what had taken place and what had been erased in the interim."
Further, according to Israeli accounts, it was only three days after the incident that General David Elazar, the Chief of Staff, spoke to the public. He had, according to the official version, received the report on the Libyan plane "after some minutes of contacts between the planes-apparently between 14:03 and 14:05, and the contact was finished at 14:11 when the flaming Libyan plane touched the ground." Actually, as revealed by the all-important little black box, the contact ended at 14:09 when the bullets were fired at the wings of the Boeing to force it to land. Therefore the contact had not lasted more than from four to six minutes. As one Israeli newspaper saw it, "the reception of the information from the air force commander and his pondering, as well as the decision, were all executed within a single three minute connection. Why, they ask, was not more time given for the decision? Why did the Chief of Staff hear, think, and decide almost simultaneously?"
Perhaps the excuse made by the Israeli fighter pilot at a press conference sheds some light. "When I hit him, he was at a minute's flight distance from the canal." This fear that the plane might have crossed back safely into Egypt was in line with the Chief of Staff's remarks that he had "to decide immediately." If the latter had waited to contact Defense Minister Dayan, the Libyan plane could have slipped away, which apparently would have been contrary to his instructions.
Air Force Commander Mordechai Hod, who had directed the June 1967 air strikes against Arab airfields, claimed that the Libyan pilot could see the airport but had disregarded all signals. Hod ascribed certain words to the pilot that were totally disproved, again by the black box. There was no basis, according to the Israeli press accounts, for the Chief of Staff's statement that the Boeing pilot saw and understood the signals made by the Israeli Phantom pilots, disregarded and stubbornly refused to follow them. The pilot's words of confusion, as recorded, directly contradicted such a version.
The first signal to land was given by the Israeli Phantom jets two minutes after the Libyan plane was identified. The first warning shots came a minute and a half later. In this briefest interim, Hod came to [378] [379] the conclusion that "there is no doubt that the Boeing crew understood what we were asking from them and that the crew saw the airport and refused to land there." But again according to irrefutable evidence, the Libyan crew did not see any airport. The first warning shots were fired at a time when the plane was moving away from the airport in a westerly direction toward the Suez Canal and Egypt. And Hod talked to his Chief of Staff after the plane had turned away from the Bir Gafgafa Airport, where the Israelis wished it to land, and perhaps even before the first warning shots were fired.
It was established that the Chief of Staff had acted only after it was clear that the Boeing had not-and could not cause any harm in its mistaken course into Sinai. Fears that the plane had aggressive intentions were groundless. Aggressive intentions are carried out while moving toward a target and certainly not while going away, back to one's home base. Yet the Times continued to allude to this repudiated contention that the destructive design of the Libyan plane was a genuine possibility. Because of the impossible weather conditions, Israeli suspicion that the enemy might be taking air photos was likewise totally unjustified.
While a Daily News editorial called the incident "a wantonly brutal downing, which shocked and horrified Israel's warmest friends,"38 in the four days following the wanton attack on the Libyan plane, not a single columnist in any of the New York papers carried a single reference to the incident. Moralists such as Peter Hamill, who spouted every time someone was killed in Vietnam or Israel, were glued to their chairs in total silence. Where Tom Wicker had written about the seeds of terrorism on the previous September 7, nothing now came from his fertile pen on Israeli brigandage.
This U.S. reaction was in marked contrast to the hysteria that raged for ten days after the Israeli athletes had been killed-the endless, overwhelming, nationwide media reportage detailing the mourning, tributes to the dead, and vituperative censure of the Arabs.39
The media's gross romanticization of the Munich tragedy was exposed in a column by Shirley Povich in the Washington Post "It is time to deflate that guff about the great brotherhood the Olympics promote. They are torn by constant bickering among team officials of all the nations, and political alignments influence the judging in events like boxing, diving and gymnastics." In contrast to the sensationalism in U.S. newspapers that ran photos showing mourning athlete Jesse Owens, handkerchief in hand, and grieving Israeli teammates of the deceased,40 the Washington writer noted:
Olympic Village was a shame to behold on Tuesday afternoon, after the first shock at the news that two Israelis were dead and nine held hostage by Arab raiders. A few hours after the initial excitement subsided, you couldn't find an empty ping pong table in the village, rock music was blaring as usual, and it was just another day in Olympic Village. There was other evidence of boredom all around, even with their Israeli comrades having all that trouble in Building 33. 41
The funeral services both in Israel and in the U.S. for the one athlete who had been born American, but at the time of his death held Israeli citizenship, received the widest coverage. An Associated Press story out of Cleveland, Ohio, indicated that Governor John J. Gilligan, at that time a presidential hopeful, had ordered state flags to be lowered to half-mast in memory of this weight lifter who was one of the nine Israeli hostages "killed by Arab commandos" (two athletes died in the original attack at Olympic Village). The bereavement of the parents of David Berger overflowed onto every television set in the U.S.42
The Times' recital of the return of the bodies of the Arab victims of the Libyan plane incident to Cairo noted that six bodies, which were neither Egyptian nor Libyan, had been sent to the governments concerned: five to France and one to the U.S. This, three days after the incident, was the first reference whatsoever to the fact that an American had been among the victims. Only on the last six lines on page 8 of the New York Times 43 did the name of the American appear - Wladyslaw Boysoglebski, sixty-two years old, of Chicago, an American who had taken out citizenship after immigrating from Poland. No flags were ordered to be set at half-mast by Illinois Governor Richard B. Ogilvie when the body of this American was returned, in contrast to the honor accorded in Ohio to a half-American, half-Israeli serving on the Olympic team of a foreign country. A call to the cable desk of UPI to find out whether they knew anything about the disposition of the body that was being shipped via Tel Aviv embassy to the States yielded a total blank.
While the responsibility or necessity for the German attack killing the Munich hostages was never established, at no point did the media ever call attention to this doubt. However, in the reportage of the Libyan plane incident, every sort of innuendo, excuse, or explanation was indulged in, either by the media on its own or by publicizing the views of the Israeli pilots, the Israeli army, and the Israeli government. Where the Munich story had received banner headlines right across the front page and was continued with large five-column Times [380] [381] headlines on the second day, the 110 innocent victims of trigger~happy Israeli pilots received, on the first day, three columns, and the third line of the heading gave the Israeli point of view, and that was that.
More than four years later, the Zionists were continuing to exploit the 1972 Olympics affair. ABC national television provided unpaid prime time (December 1976) at a cost of close to $2 million for a specially produced Sunday evening television film, Twenty-One Hours at Munich, under the meticulous direction of coproducers Edward Feldman and Robert Greenwald (illustrating once more the Zionist connection). The greatest liberties were taken with the facts to portray the Palestinians as the blackest villains, even attributing sorrowful last words to one Israeli athlete, who had died all alone. The ABC press releases, replete with pejorative adjectives, further spawned anti-Arab hatred.
Everywhere this double standard prevailed 44 with but a few dissenting voices. Robert Pierpoint, CBS White House correspondent, was one of a handful to point out that the U.S. had lost its sense of fair play. He noted that in February 1973, when the Israelis carried out a commando raid deep in the heart of Lebanon, striking at Palestinian refugee camps 130 miles from their own territory with planes and tanks and wiping out thirty-seven lives in the process, "there was next to no outcry in this country." It was on this occasion that an entire Lebanese family of six was crushed to death as they sat in their car, by an Israeli tank. Many other innocents were killed in this same raid, along with a few Palestinian guerrillas, allegedly part of the Black September movement.
Pierpoint on this CBS telecast declared that the shooting down of the Libyan airliner had drawn some official regrets, but not expressed publicly nor at the level of the White House. He continued:
Nor did any U.S. official ever indicate that the U.S might think twice before It dispatched more American-built Phantom jets to Israel of the type that had shot down the Libyan airliner. Indeed, the very next week, President Nixon let it be known after his talk in the Oval Office with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir that more such Phantoms would soon be on their way. Contrast these events with what happened after the Arab Black September's massacre of Israeli athletes at Munich. The U.S., from President Nixon on down, expressed outrage, and the President ordered steps taken to see that no such terrorism could strike at Israelis in this country.
  Senator Hugh Scott, after meeting with President Nixon to discuss domestic problems, standing at a White House podium, in response to a question on what should be done to the Arabs who had participated in the murders in Khartoum, responded, "I hope they shoot them all, and the sooner the better." No mention was made of a trial, or the possibility that if a fair trial were held, it might turn out that not all the terrorists were guilty of the murders.
  For so long Americans have become used to thinking of the Israelis as the good guys and the Arabs as the bad guys that many react emotionally along the lines of previous prejudices. The fact is that both sides have committed unforgivable acts of terror, both sides have killed innocents, both sides have legitimate grievances and illegitimate methods of expressing them. Perhaps the Arabs' action was more irrational-sheer terror. At least it was not backed by a relatively rational government which justifies its actions as necessary. The Israelis have and utilize a formidable political propaganda force in this country in the form of six million Jews. The Arabs have only slightly less than a million descendants in America just beginning to organize a nationwide counterforce. Perhaps this will help bring balance. In the meantime, the rest of us might apply more steady balance and fair play to the difficult problems of the Middle East " [Italics added.)
The broadcast was no sooner on the airwaves and reprinted in the Christian Science Monitor 45 than the usual hue and cry was raised. Pierpoint was, of course, charged with anti-Semitism, and his head was demanded. Telegrams and letters poured into the network. The CBS President and Vice President in charge of news were importuned to exercise some control over Pierpoint's judgment. The CBS correspondent had this to say about the smears and fears that were raised: "As you can imagine, some of the criticism was highly emotional if not downright hysterical. I was not surprised at this since the subject is a highly emotional one. I was mildly surprised at the manner in which the critics are so well organized that within hours people who had not heard the broadcast were protesting by phone or writing letters. In any case, the opposition to this kind of broadcast was and is formidable."46
The treatment of the Ma'alot affair soon thereafter clearly indicated that the Pierpoint call for press fair play had fallen on deaf ears. On May 15, 1974, three fedayeen from the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PDFLP) stole across the Lebanese-Israel border (an Israeli nurse testified that one had been living nearby in Safad for a long time) and at six in the morning seized a Ma'alot school in which ninety teenage members of the semimilitary Nahal 47 had been spending the night after some training.
Fifteen youngsters escaped through an open door at the time of the takeover, and two were allowed to leave because they were ill. The guerrillas sent two more youths out with a list of twenty-six prisoners held in Israeli jails whose release they demanded in exchange for the [382] [383] hostages. They asked that the French and Rumanian Ambassadors serve as mediators.
The prisoners-twenty-three Palestinians, two Israelis, and one Japanese-were to be flown to Damascus, according to the guerrilla demand. As soon as the arrival of the released prisoners had been confirmed in the Syrian capital, the mediating Ambassadors would receive through Paris and Bucharest a code word with which to identify themselves before starting negotiations for the release of the hostages. But if no code word was received by 6:00 F.M., the guerrillas "would not be responsible for the consequences,' they warned.
While negotiations were being carried on between the Palestinians, Israelis, Cairo (from where the plane to carry out the Palestinian prisoners was to come), and the Ambassadors, Israeli military forces attacked the school half an hour before the guerrilla deadline. In the ensuing battle the fedayeen were wiped out, but sixteen children were killed, victims of either exploding Palestinian grenades or Israeli bullets. And the Zionist-media alliance both in the U.S. and Britain (where I happened to be at the moment) went absolutely wild, even as the facts surrounding the tragedy's final moments became increasingly beclouded. While nothing could ever condone the brutal killing of innocent children, much evidence was adduced that the Israeli government had far from done everything in its power to avoid the tragic loss of life and that the military had overreacted. And it was the French Ambassador to Israel who cast the principal doubts on the oversimplified story disseminated by the Western press.
Ambassador Jean Herly was waiting at the French Consulate in Haifa throughout the afternoon for the Israeli authorities to call him to Ma'alot. At 2:00 he had been informed by the Israelis that he was not to receive the code word permitting him to negotiate with the fedayeen until the prisoners held by Israel had been freed and had reached Damascus. At 3:22, according to Israeli Foreign Ministry documents, the Ambassador had requested permission to proceed to Ma'alot. The answer was delayed. Realizing at 4:45 that it was now impossible to organize the release of the Palestinian prisoners and get them to Damascus in time for the 6:00 deadline, the Ambassador had himself flown by helicopter to Ma'alot to plead with the Palestinians to extend their ultimatum.
Upon his arrival, a high-ranking Israeli officer asked the French Ambassador if he had the code word. He replied in the negative, and then, as he told Agence France Presse, asked to meet the Minister of Defense or the Chief of Staff, "thinking that I could perhaps, even without the code word and through my diplomatic pass, get into contact with the fedayeen and try at least to postpone the expiration of the ultimatum." But he was informed it was "too dangerous." A few minutes later, at 5:30, in the words of the Ambassador to the press, he heard shots and explosions. "I was told that it was all over and asked to return to Tel Aviv." Acting on the direct orders of the Chief of Staff, forty minutes before the ultimatum's expiration at 5:20 P.M., the Israeli military forces stormed the building.
Herly, a diplomat to the end, stated that he was certain that the authorities "had not willfully sought to prevent him from speaking to the terrorists, but I still ask myself and wonder: What could have been done that wasn't done between five o'clock and six o'clock?" He had been denied permission to talk to the Palestinians on the grounds that he had not received the code word from Palestinian headquarters in Damascus. But as the Ambassador later told the Jerusalem Post, there must have been a "grave misunderstanding" because he was, in fact, not supposed to receive the code word until the released prisoners had arrived safely in Damascus. Israeli Information Minister Shimon Peres insisted that Herly never could have talked to the Palestinians without having the code word in his possession.
According to Ha'aretz of May 17, the government had decided early in the morning to reject the clearly understood Palestinian conditions. But to buy time, Moshe Dayan and General Mordechai Gur informed the fedayeen that they agreed to their terms, meanwhile formulating plans for the military rescue of the hostages. Fully aware of the overwhelming sympathy of the Western press, both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense saw an opportunity to take a chance, even at the expense of children's lives, of making important favorable international propaganda at a time when Israel's public relations standing in the world had gravely plummeted. The die was cast, and French mediation efforts were not permitted to upset the carefully calculated Israeli planning.
As at Munich, the Israelis justified the decision to storm the school on the conviction that the Palestinians intended, in any event, to kill their young hostages when their demands were rejected and the ultimatum ran out. Again, guerrilla action did not sustain this thesis. As PDFLP spokesman Yasser Abed Rubbuh later declared, the three terrorists had orders to prolong the original deadline by two hours in the event no agreement was reached. The Palestinians maintained that at no time did they plan to harm the hostages if their demands were met. Their plan had been to bargain the first half of the hostages for the [384] release of the prisoners on their list, and then the second half for the safe passage of the three Palestinians out of Israel.
It was the Palestinian contention that the political decision to storm the school "whatever the consequences" had been made long before the 1600 GMT deadline was reached. According to the PDFLP version, "the Rumanian and French Ambassadors were (old by the Israelis they do not have any aircraft available to take the prisoners to Damascus." But the Rumanian government had been notified at 1530 GMT, half an hour before the deadline and the exact time the Israelis stormed the school, that the prisoners had actually taken off for Cyprus.
The Popular Front openly admitted responsibility for Ma'alot, but at the same time, in a statement appearing in the London Times,48 PDFLP leader Nayef Hawatmeh challenged Israel to submit to a public postmortem to determine who, in fact, had been responsible for the bloodshed. This the Israeli government ignored, and the media declined to follow up the matter.
Had there been a careful investigation, it would have been revealed that the border settlement of Ma'alot had been carefully chosen by Hawatmeh for this raid on the twenty-sixth anniversary of the establishment of the Israeli state. This village, once the Arab village of Tarchiha, as part of western Galilee, was to have been included under the 1948 U.N. partition plan in the Arab state, but was attacked and occupied before May 15, then annexed by the Israeli state. The Arab villagers fled during the fighting, and after the 1949 armistice their return was barred. The village was razed to the ground, and on its ruins the Israeli village of Ma'alot had been built.
The U.S. media was totally uninterested in any exposition of Palestinian thinking. By the sheerest of coincidences, in the late evening of May 14 as the attack on Ma'alot was taking place, I was in Beirut taping a conversation with Palestinian Abu Nidal (a pseudonym), leader of a group that had split off from the PDFLP and is Iraq oriented. This twenty-five-year-old Palestinian expressed himself frankly and violently:
We believe that Palestine is ours, and the only way to get back what is ours is to fight.... I am not Mr. Sadat. I am a Palestinian, and I am not concerned with world opinion, including American, which has done nothing for our very fair cause through more than twenty-six years. The world can respect you only when you are strong enough to stand in the face of the world and fight for your cause.. .. We showed we were serious in our attack on Qiryat Shemona, and we will strike again. [385]
His reference was to the Palestinian attack six weeks earlier on an Israeli border village in which eighteen Israelis had been killed and sixteen injured, but three of his companions had lost their lives, the oldest of whom was just twenty years old.
The following day when I reached London, this pertinent tape was used on BBC television and radio. But on arrival in New York, forty eight hours after Ma'alot, there was the accustomed total blackout from television-radio news and talk shows. No one dared put into question the Israeli-Zionist propaganda that the sole Palestinian aim was to murder the innocent and spread terror without cause.
At Ma'alot little children had been involved, and hysteria ruled the American Jewish community. Brooklyn District Attorney Eugene Gold and companions chained themselves to a fence in front of the U.N. in protest. New York's Mayor Beame addressed a large emotional rally, urging the U.N. to adopt immediate sanctions against Arab countries to avert further acts of terrorism. New York Post columnists Max Lerner and Peter Hamill far outstripped in narrow, vindictive one-sidedness the efforts of other media pundits. Hamill screamed:
And now they were killing children, Israeli children.... People were dying in the deserts of the Middle East. Israel, which initially had allied itself with the U.S. on a moral basis, had discovered that it was just another colony, its fate in the hands of Henry Kissinger whose wife kept Arab swag in a wall safe in her bedroom.49
In Jerusalem Premier Golda Meir claimed her government had been prepared to submit to the commandos' demands to free the prisoners, but that they had not had enough time to act. In an angry television address she vowed that Israel "will do everything in its power to chop off the hands that intend to harm a child or an adult in any city or village." The Meir caretaker government, which was soon replaced by the Yitzhak Rabin Cabinet, came under increasingly angry attack from many quarters for its handling of the affair, as more and more of the facts began to leak out.
One of the freed Ma'alot students, sixteen-year-old Rachel Lagziel, told reporters that the captives were allowed to listen to their transistors and to hear all the news broadcast in Hebrew. "We were allowed to drink our water and eat our provisions," eighteen-year-old Tamara Ben-Hamu later said. "Don't be afraid" one commando said. "If Israel gives us the prisoners, you will not be harmed." (This, of course, never appeared in the U.S. press~only in Israel.)
Angry Israelis assailed Dayan. "You have made us the [386] [387] stepchildren of Israel," Ma'alot Council Chairman Eli Ben Yaacov screamed at him. "It's because most of us are from Morocco," he added.
Before a day after the incident had passed, the Israelis had struck back against South Lebanon in a retaliatory raid. Air attacks against civilian targets brought death to fifty~two in an. impoverished refugee camp and in Lebanese villages. Am El Helweh and Bowry El Barajneh, refugee camps north and south of Beirut, were the targets of the Israeli air attacks carried out by thirty-six U.S.-supplied Phantoms. On the second successive day the "reprisal" for Ma'alot found the Nabitieh refugee camp in South Lebanon literally razed to the ground.
   The following is from a dispatch filed by Paul Martin, which appeared in the London Times on May 18:
  Rescue workers had just dug up the bodies of the young woman and her four small children from the rooms of their tiny house when I arrived in this Palestinian refugee camp today. The bodies were mutilated almost beyond recognition. Nobody knew the woman's name, but one refugee said he thought her husband had been killed during last night's Israeli bombing raids as well.
  The house was one of about 60, lining the camp's main street, which were flattened by three separate air strikes in two and a half hours. Half the camp, which holds 5,000 people, had been completely destroyed by direct hits on houses in no way connected with the Palestinian guerrillas. I counted more than 40 craters from 1,000-lb. bombs peppering an area of less than 400 square yards.
  Eight children, between the ages of 8 and 12 were killed when bombs showered down on the camp's school. Their bodies were taken to Sidon Hospital because their parents could not be found in the confusion. More bodies are expected to be recovered from the debris of twisted and crumbled buildings. The death toll so far in Nabatieh alone is 25 civilians killed and nearly 60 wounded.
  On the outskirts of the camp there was an endless string of pathetic processions to the sedate little cemetery. There were no demonstrations of overt grief or anger~just looks of shock and fear. Men, women and children, who died in Israel's reprisal, were taken at short intervals to hastily prepared graves. Their bodies were borne on open stretcher-like coffins, draped with a flower arrangement resembling the Palestinian flag.
  Nabatieh was the worst hit in Israel's wave of air strikes launched yesterday afternoon on Palestinian refugee camps and villages at 4 P.M. as the streets were filled with people. The bombing and strafing lasted 10 minutes. Then, as rescue workers began to drag the dead and wounded from the debris, they struck again at 5 P.M.; the final and most devastating strike came at 6:45 P.M.
  As I arrived in Nabatieh today, the last refugees were fleeing with mattresses and the bare essentials of survival: "This is the third time in the past three years that we have been driven out of here by Israeli air raids," an old villager said, "Each time we have had to build up all over again, but we will be back, perhaps in a week, perhaps in a month; but, God willing, we will be back."
  The presence of armed guerrillas in Palestinian refugee camps is no new phenomenon. However, at Nabatieh there clearly was no evidence in the camp itself of any guerrilla military bases. What is obvious from this latest Israeli blow against Lebanon is that civilians suffered the most. Little or no damage was done to the guerrillas and, if anything, they stand to gain much politically from what has happened.
  Such events tend to create militants. At one point a group of refugees who had lost a relative gathered around me when I was introduced as a British correspondent, a man of about 40 snapped angrily: "Curse you and your Balfour. Curse America. Curse you all."
A U.N. report on Nabatieh listed "60 percent destroyed, 20 percent badly damaged, 20 percent partly destroyed. Not one house had a roof left," the international organization noted. Yet such acts of terror against civilian populations were relegated to inconspicuous coverage, and the pretext for the merciless retaliation, that fedayeen were based in this area, was accepted as an extenuating circumstance for the killings in the retaliatory onslaughts on refugee camps.
As planes brought death to 200 innocents in these latest May raids in South Lebanon, which had begun in 1968 and accelerated to almost daily attacks, the same politicians, ministers, rabbis, priests, and writers who had condemned the "cowardly methods" employed in the killings at Munich and Ma'alot found themselves acquiescing in the more sophisticated Israeli means of terror used in Lebanon. Exploding dolls dropped from planes "to entice" children to their deaths brought no outraged outcries. Lebanese villages such as Rashaya Fuqhar, once a prosperous town of 2,000 Christian Arabs and a handful of Palestinian refugee camps in the Arkoub region of Lebanon, were subjected to attacks by airplane, artillery, tanks, and gunboats. Israeli commandos invaded villages and camps alike, "forcibly checking identifications, blowing up houses, killing villagers, and taking prisoners."50 Still, certain American newspapers called this tragedy-the forerunner to the Lebanese civil war-a lesson that should serve as "an ultimatum to the Lebanese government to rid themselves of the Palestinians within their midst."
It was very obvious that the "lords of the press" were not interested in striking an equal balance by reporting these as "atrocities" as they had so labeled Ma'alot. In the face of the Israeli aerial onslaught on innocent Lebanese and Palestinian refugees, all that the New York [388] [389] Times would do was to administer another mild slap to the Israel wrist and ask for "a determined show of restraint on both sides":
The fully justified anger and determination of Israel to resist terrorist assaults that have caused 49 deaths, mostly among children in ten weeks, nevertheless affords no sound basis for resort to counterterror from the air, especially when such indiscriminate tactics, also involving the death of many innocents, have repeatedly proved ineffective. In the present context, the Israeli response is especially unfortunate since it directly serves the Palestinian extremists' objectives.51 [Italics added.J
The principal concern of the Times was that the Israeli savagery was counterproductive.
Unmatched continued Israeli and U.S. Zionist-induced media hysteria over the thirty-eight victims of the March 11, 1978, Palestinian raid served as a cover for Begin's retaliatory blitzkrieg into southern Lebanon. First reports two days later in the New York Post mentioned 250 deaths and 100,000 refugees.52 In Saturday's New York Times, Marvine Howe quoted "reports" of 100,000 refugees. In fact, there were some 260,000 refugees and approximately 2000 deaths. For noting that "apparently a dead woman in Lebanon is not worth as much as a dead woman in Israel, "Jimmy Breslin of the New York Daily News was bitterly assailed, and the next week an entire Sunday letters column was devoted to ten angry writers tearing him to pieces.
Two Times editorials flayed "the senseless terror against Israel" and averred that, "beyond messages of condolence," the world "owes Israelis sympathy and partnership in measures to punish terrorism on every front,"53 and as late as May 7 correspondent William Farrell was writing about the "terrorist rampage in the March carnage. James Wechsler's front and editorial pages in the Post alternately spared no language in attacking the Palestinian raiders, bemoaned the "lost peace," and then gloried with across-the-page headlines: "Guerrillas Routed In All-Out Retaliation."54 As the air bombardment of fleeing innocent Lebanese and Palestinian civilians continued, the Times referred to the "justified Lebanese retaliation."55
The Washington Post carried an AP picture of a machine-gunned car and reported the ambushing at Aadloun by Israeli commandos of two taxi-loads of Tibnine villagers. According to reporter Jonathan Randal, "one taxi was riddled with machine-gun bullets, the other hit by the fin of a rocket with Hebrew lettering on it. As many as 20 villagers-most of them women and children-were killed. "56 Marvine Howe of the Times simply reported that fifteen civilians had been killed and two wounded in circumstances that were "unclear,"57 while the Daily News briefly referred to an AP report of civilian deaths. The Time correspondent described the "ghastly" sight of the taxis, noting that fourteen in all had been slaughtered. Correspondent Dean Brelis referred to the "indiscriminate" bombing of the port city of Tyre, where, with the exception of one Palestinian anti-aircraft gun, "no military target had been hit. . . What had been hit, and hard, was the civilian dwellings. Was this deliberate counter-terrorism on the part of the Israelis? It certainly looked that way."58 Nothing of this was even hinted at in the Times or other U.S. dailies. And the State Department, which had quickly condemned what it called "a brutal act of terrorism against Israeli civilians," refused to issue any censure of Israel for its invasion of Lebanon.
During an Israeli air bombardment of Lebanon the previous November in which more than 100 civilians were killed, a man in his sixties, as told by an American newsman, "lost everyone he had in the world at Hazziyeh - his wife, six children, his brother, his brother's wife, his brother's four children. Numbed by grief, he walked like a robot around a Palestinian Red Crescent hospital near Tyre. He knelt among the bodies of his family, crouched over the dirty mutilated face of his smallest son, kissed him and said, 'Darling, go. It doesn't matter, God is great.' "59
This man, if possible, was perhaps more fortunate than other defenseless parents in unarmed Lebanese villages and Palestinian refugee camps upon whom, as Thomas Kiernan describes in the prologue of The Arabs, American-made Phantoms showered phosphorous bombs made of wax and acid-wax which stuck to the skin while the acid ate it away:
A human figure materialized out of the gloom, an eerie, unintelligible chant issuing from what was once its lips. Stumbling, weaving, then falling to its knees and crawling, it crept towards us. It was a child-boy or girl I couldn't tell-and its charred skin was literally melting, leaving a trail of viscous fluid in its wake. Its face had no recognizable features. The top of its skull shone through the last layer of scorched membrane on its head. Not more than ten yards from us it fell on its side, its kneecaps exposing like the yolks of poached eggs. It twitched once or twice in the dust, gave a final wheeze, then went still in the puddle of molten flesh that formed around it in the dust. . . . Later it was run over by a car. No one would ever know what had happened to that child.60
While the unparalleled destruction in Lebanon has since become a recognized fact, only the primary cause remaining in contention, the total devastation of Quneitra, the one-time capital of Syria's Golan [390] [391] Heights, remains one of the world's best-kept secrets.
Under the terms of the Syrian-Israeli disengagement accord, the return of Quneitra to the Syrians was the principal quid pro quo for President Hafez al-Assad's reluctant acceptance of the fruits of Henry Kissinger's thirty~day shuttling. The southern quarter of the town, the hills surrounding it on three sides, and the rich cultivated land east, west, and south-still remained in Israeli hands, allegedly to protect Israeli settlements in the Hulah valley. Three Israeli settlements built since 1967, in defiance of U.N. resolutions, lay within four miles of the town. Without these Israeli settlers in the Golan, Kissinger might have been able to make a more satisfactory arrangement. But as one settler in Merom Golan boasted, "By our very presence we are proving once again the importance of settlement to Israel. Where we settle, there we shall remain."61
The Syrian returnees in June 1967 were greeted by a Hebrew inscription on a demolished wall: "You wanted Quneitra. You will have it in ruins." This threat was carried out.
Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the U.N., after visiting the former capital of the Golan Heights, remarked: "I was very shocked by what I saw at Quneitra." For the Soviet Ambassador to Syria, Quneitra revived memories of Stalingrad at the end of the last war. And to Father George Muhassal, when he and his flock were finally permitted to reenter the city, it was Hiroshima all over again.
In a statement released through the Near East Ecumenical Bureau in Beirut, this pastor of the Greek Orthodox Church in Quneitra charged the Israelis with bulldozing 80 percent of the city and with desecrating-looting Christian churches and the cemetery just prior to their withdrawal on June 26: "The concrete tombs were opened by machine~gun fire and, in some cases, hand grenades. The bodies were brought outside and systematically looted. Hands were broken off to get bracelets, teeth with gold were taken, and parts of the bodies were not put back in the proper coffins."
Such accusations coming from a priest of a church in the city might be dismissed as exaggerations. But Irene Beeson, writing in the Guardian was most explicit in her description of the systematic Israeli destruction before leaving. These are the words, as recounted by Beeson, of one of the ten inhabitants who alone had remained under the Israeli occupation in 1967:
They had about eleven bulldozers stationed in the town, but they had to bring in reinforcements to cope with the huge task. The smaller houses collapsedunder a single thrust. For the larger two, three and four-story villas and buildings, they had to build earth ramps so that the bulldozers could reach the upper floors.
  They worked from dawn to dusk for several days with grim determination and great expertise. It took them practically a whole day to finish off the three-story house down the street. Only the houses of the ten Arab inhabitants who had not fled were intact. Left standing, also, was the gutted, bullet-ridden 300-bed hospital which the Israelis used for target practice. One of the town's churches was destroyed. Others left standing and only slightly damaged structurally, but had been stripped of everything-marble facings on the walls, furnishings, precious 4th-century icons, statues, lamps.
  The shell of the Officers' Club is another landmark. What remains of this wall is riddled with bullet holes, decorated with sexy murals, insulting and pornographic graffiti. . . . Generators were removed and carted away by the Israelis, who made off with all the town's pumps for drinking and irrigation water. Into the water reserves and wells the Israelis had poured diesel oil, petrol and garbage, making good the inscription they had left behind.62
You can always read what others have to say, but that is not the same as viewing for yourself, as I did a year later, the utter emptiness and desolation of Quneitra, a city that had been bulldozed in its entirety. The tracks of the machines were still evident everywhere. Smaller houses had collapsed under a single thrust, while the larger villas and buildings had obviously been bulldozed in the manner described by Irene Beeson.
Such dark devastation visited by man upon man has had few equals. The only signs of life were the stray, hungry-looking cat streaking across the road and a few wild red poppies that had sprung up beside the burnt-out framework of what once had been Quneitra's proud hospital. To me came a flashback to childhood:
In Flanders Field the poppies grow
Between the crosses row on row
That mark their place.
My visit to Quneitra was on a cold May afternoon, but the temperature in no way could match the frigidity of the scene - dramatized by nearby snow-capped Mount Herman, where so many fierce aerial battles between the Syrians and the Israelis had occurred. The approaches to Quneitra were guarded by the Austrian U.N. peacekeeping force.
This tragedy can best be seen through neutral eyes. However, despite continued widespread coverage of violence and terrorism in the U.S. media, there were no reports on Quneitra. In July 1974 an Australian delegation comprised of two members of Parliament, two [392] Labor leaders, two journalists, and the Federal Secretary of the Young Labor Association visited the Golan Heights. Leader of the delegation George Petersen wrote an article, "The Town That Used To Be," for the Australian publication, Nation Review:
The most striking feature of the Quneitra buildings is that, in most cases, there are no walls and the roofs are resting on the ground. How this was done is only too apparent by the caterpillar tracks on the ground near the destroyed buildings.63
After describing the conditions he found in the city, Petersen concluded:
Quneitra was destroyed for the same reasons that most of the original inhabitants were expelled from Palestine-because the Zionists intend to take over the land, expel the original inhabitants and use it for their own purposes. . . Looking across the cease-fire lines to Ain Zivan kibbutz in Israel, I know whom I would hate the most if I were a native of Quneitra. Not the soldiers, not even the bulldozer operators, but the men, women and children living on that kibbutz for the benefit of whom and of others like them the destruction of Quneitra was instituted at an enormous cost to the native inhabitants. And I know that I would want to cross the cease-fire line and kill those usurpers.
In the same publication, many letters from Zionists who knew nothing whatsoever about Quneitra emotionally reacted to the Petersen article. In a reply to one of the letters signed by five persons, Petersen struck back:
When I was at Quneitra on July 5, the bulldozer tracks were clearly visible. I am puzzled why the apologists for the Israeli government deny that Quneitra was destroyed by bulldozers and explosives! The Israeli practice of bulldozing Arab villages to the ground is well substantiated in past reports by such impartial parties as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights. . . . Why should the Zionists have made an exception of Quneitra? I would particularly like your five correspondents to explain how they justify the forcible eviction to Syria of over 100,000 native inhabitants of the Golan Heights area. Does Israel's right to exist justify turning the civilian residents into homeless refugees? Or are your correspondents' concepts of humanity confined only to people who describe themselves as "Jews"?
Zionists contend that Quneitra had been destroyed during the 1967 and 1973 wars rather than methodically bulldozed at the time of the Israeli withdrawal. But a BBC documentary film showed Commentator Peter Snow some three or four days before the Israeli evacuation in a very alive city with many houses all intact-further proof that the [393] city had been calculatingly destroyed, house by house, church by church.
Another eyewitness from the Australian delegation was Stewart West, President of the South Post Branch of the Waterside Workers Federation of Australia. Under the title "The Destruction of Quneitra," he wrote as follows:
In most war-damaged cities, you see heaps of rubble, bomb and shell craters, burned-out buildings, with walls still standing and sometimes whole streets left undamaged. But not in Quneitra. The city was completely destroyed in a couple of days immediately prior to the Israeli withdrawal on June 25, 1974. Most of the houses were demolished with explosives or pushed down with bulldozers. . . . The destruction of Quneitra must be in the same category as the destruction of ancient Carthage, as the destruction of European cities by the Huns, and the Mongols, and with Hiroshima and the Nazi destructions during World War II64 [Italics added.]
Australian trade union newspaper Scope in a special twenty-eight page supplement of August 1, 1974, devoted two of its pages to the Quneitra atrocities with a lead that read: "Syrian city of Quneitra used to be half-way between the Israeli border and Damascus. In June of this year, Israeli bulldozers destroyed the last of its houses, ripped down the last of its trees and orchards and pulled back up the hills of the Golan Heights." The main piece, presumably written by Scope's Editor, George Coote, added in part:
June 26 was days after the disengagement between Israeli and Syrian troops, and the last Arab house in Quneitra was destroyed minutes before UN peacekeeping forces moved in. . . . Quneitra was smashed with dynamite and bulldozers which made sure nobody would live there again.... This was a puzzle for the Australian delegation visiting the city. Did the Quneitra story hit the Australian media?
The answer to this question and to the query posed by British journalist Kathleen Evan's contribution to the same special issue, "Had You Really Heard About Israel's Genocide?" was identical. Next to nothing had appeared in Australia and Britain-and nothing in the U.S.-on the story of a gutted city where nearly 45,000 people once had happily lived.
Zionist terror also reached the sidewalks of New York. One Sunday afternoon in January 1972, the relative stillness of Seventh Avenue was broken by the angry bellow of voices crying out in unison "Free Soviet Jews," alternating with "Six Million-Not One More." Carnegie Hall, where the Osipov Balalaika Orchestra was performing with stars [394] [395] of the Bolshoi Ballet and the Bolshoi Opera Company, was under siege. Two busloads of Mayor John Lindsay's police were keeping an angry threatening mob from ticket holders who had to pass the picket lines to enter the famed music hall.
The ugly, tastelessly clad pickets who were alternately cursing, hissing, and spitting at other Americans, many of whom were themselves Jews, were members of Rabbi Meir Kahane's Jewish Defense League. Most of them were wearing buttons bearing their organizational emblem, "Never Again," while some had buttons reading "Free Syrian Jews." One woman in a fur coat had a cloth emblem with the flags of Israel and the U.S. joined together - symbolizing the duality of these rabid ultramilitants. And on that Sunday miscreants of the same ilk were picketing the Syrian Mission in another section of Manhattan. That evening the Egyptian Tourist Office at Rockefeller Center was bombed. And two days later a fire bombing of "unknown origin" erupted in the offices of impresario Sol Hurok and Columbia Artists, killing his secretary and injuring many. An anonymous caller to the Associated Press said: "Cultural bridges of friendship will not be built over the bodies of Soviet Jews. Never again." On this occasion the leaders of a few rival Israelist organizations in muffled voices related their disapproval to the press. But no action was taken, and history was being allowed to repeat itself.
The case of Meir Kahane would require a long examination. All that may be noted here is the way he has benefited from the imposition of the double standard. The five-year suspended sentence given him in 1971 after his admitted manufacture of bombs, harassment of Soviet diplomats, and acts of violence against American and Arab citizens was scarcely believable. Only in a Brooklyn District Court presided over by Judge Jack Weinstein and in an America under Zionist domination could this have happened.
In a news conference following the sentencing, the brazen Rabbi forthrightly disavowed the court's injunction against further breaches of the peace by stating that he would use violence if he determined it to be "necessary." He announced that he would divide his time between New York and Jerusalem, where he was opening an international center, and would "maintain dual citizenship as permitted under Israeli law."
The militant Rabbi vacated the leadership of the group he founded after his defeat in the December 1973 Israeli parliamentary elections. The Israeli government deported him after he and other Israeli militants were arrested following a Gush Emunim demonstration during the summer of 1976 in an off-limits Hebron hospital on the West Bank. Kahane cried out to his followers living in the nearby Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, which looks down on the Arab city from a promontory: "This is a Jewish city. Abraham lived here, and so will we. This is the building where Jews were murdered by Arabs." The six-columned New York Times report on page 2 showed a smiling, charismatic Kahane sitting in an Israeli army truck after his arrest.65
Upon release from prison in his country of adoption, Kahane returned to the U.S. to face criminal charges. Convicted, he kept newly enthralled followers in line through his arrogant behavior from his "country club prison," as he used his demand for kosher food and religious observance to move freely in and out of confinement.
His 1975 book, The Story of the Jewish Defense League,66 was reviewed in the Sunday Times book section by Herbert Gold 67 (on the same page as Elie Wiesel was reviewing The Blood of Israel. The Massacre of the Israeli Athletes), and the reputedly sensitive novelist referred to Kahane as a "lively rabbi with a baroque mind" whose "new book, ill-written, shrill and without nuance, nevertheless gets at a truth about contemporary Jewish experience which is generally missed by both the un-Jewish popular mind and the established Jewish organizations." The reviewer found Kahane at times "almost lovable," supporting the publisher's jacket blurb "that militance is and will be necessary to assure the future physical and spiritual existence of the Jewish people."
Little wonder that Kahane and his breed in the JDL, despite an occasional rap on the knuckles, have been permitted to break the laws, shoot at the innocent, deface property, and attack with impunity. When Dr. Mohamed Mehdi of the Action Committee was attacked by JDL members with a lead pipe in May 1974 and sent to the hospital with a broken back,68 it took nearly a year for the police to make an arrest although a perpetrator appeared on television to boast of the deed. This same arrogant defiance of the law was manifested in an ugly attack on me when I lectured February 5, 1975 at William Patterson College at Wayne, New Jersey, in a rebuttal to an address made there by former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban.69 Neither of these incidents received any media attention. Shortly thereafter, Mehdi's offices on East 44th Street. in Manhattan were set afire and almost totally gutted. The New York Times relegated this obviously vicious arson to five short paragraphs on page 40, referring only to a "suspicious fire" resulting in "medium damage to office equipment."70 Yet this same newspaper had often given prominent coverage to the many Mehdi demonstrations and his often zany statements which did not put the [396] [397] Palestinian position in the best light.
Frustration and desperation breed desperation and frustration. The grim reaction to the devastation suffered by the Palestinians in Jordan in 1970 led to an increase in violence and in the arenas in which force was applied. There emerged more desperate and intransigent guerrillas, groups such as the Black September tied to the internationalist terrorist-revolutionary movement. The Japanese Red Army, the Bader-Meinhof and other groups cooperated with Palestinians on whose strong moral position they drew to achieve their own ends in Europe. terrorist acts served as a sad reminder that these Palestinians just would not disappear. As Dr. Elmer Berger, expressed it:
Right or wrong, the exploits of the Palestinians stir an Arab world which knows that if the president of the United States calls them "outlaws," no power has done more to put these people outside the "law" than the United States. For no power is as responsible as the United States for Israel's persistent defiance of the "law" as it has been inscribed in every international agreement ever written on the Palestine problem."71
The vilification of Palestinians goes forward without placing their terrorism in the tragic context of the struggle for their right of self determination. This refusal of Western communications media to relate cause to effect has made the growth of violence inevitable and the ensuing harrowing conflict in Lebanon unavoidable. The die was first cast for that lovely country with Israel's December 1968 reprisal attack on the Beirut Airport.
For this double standard the New York Times must bear a heavy responsibility, riveting so much attention, as it has, on the subject of terrorism and refusing (even in a piece "Terrorism or Liberation Struggle? Violence Begets Many New Nations"72 in which the PLO was discussed but not a word said about Begin's Irgun) to place any blame on Israel for the use of violence from the onset of her successful struggle for "legitimacy," but on every occasion detailing the rise of the PLO through alleged stages of terrorism.73
In a June 22, 1974, editorial following the Palestinian attack on the Israeli border villages of Kiryat Shemona, Ma'alot, and Shamir 74 in which fifty-one in all had been killed, the Times placed the responsibility for the "stepped-up Palestinian terrorist attacks and Israeli counterattacks" at the door of "die-hard Palestinian extremists, infuriated by the rapid erosion of the support for their intransigent stand among their own people as well as in Arab capitals... these frustrated fanatics have resorted to repeated acts of barbarism in a desperate effort to reverse the accelerating momentum toward accommodation." (Warned indeed they were, as were all Palestinians, that there might be a Middle East accommodation that did not take into consideration their 'inalienable rights.'')
It is the saddest commentary on the decadence of the world in which we live, that the only way these people could be heard was to launch repeated terrorist attacks. Who knew about the Palestinians before Munich? Who cared one whit about the rights of Palestinians before Ma'alot? The answer is obvious-no one! There have been myriad stories about the poor Jewish refugees from everywhere coming into Israel and building up "the desert," but what humanitarian pieces broke into print about the Palestinians who had been thrown out from their ancient homes, until they struck and struck hard? And did not Winston Churchill in his History of the English Speaking Peoples once write, "It is in the primary right of man to fight and to kill for the land they live in."75
Parade compounded the Times' felonies with its own piece: "Terrorists: How They Operate a World-wide Network" in which it was made to appear that most terrorism stems solely from the Arab Middle East where "a gusher of Arab oil money is available" and "President Qaddafi, an unpredictable Big Daddy, subsidizes terrorism to the tune of $90 million a year. 76 In an October 1976 interview, "Our Very Existence Depends on the U.S.," with Parade writer George Michaelson, Prime Minister Rabin complained that the media had blown up the West Bank demonstrations. The article contained the subhead, "An Exaggerated Picture," above reports of Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians, together with a photograph captioned: "Israeli Soldiers Grab West Bank Rioter."77 But four months later, an expansive, flattering Michaelson outpouring on President Sadat (the cover showed the Egyptian holding a rose) discussed every aspect of war and peace in the Middle East without the word "Palestine" appearing once.78 And in two other articles dealing with the West Bank problem, this writer further attached the terrorist label to the Palestinians and dismissed the PLO with an unsubstantiated blanket statement that "among older, wealthier and more traditional West Bankers, the PLO's militancy is suspect."79
Few in the media cared to distinguish between terror as carried out by private groups or individuals and terror as executed as part of governmental policy. Neither the leaders of the Irgun nor of the Stern Gang had ever been prosecuted by the Israeli government after the establishment of the state. These terrorist groups were absorbed into [398] [399] the Israeli army intact as special units and their leaders elected to the Knesset. And shortly after he took over as chief of state, Begin issued a postage stamp honoring Abraham Stern, whose group had helped him in the assault on Deir Yassin and had masterminded the assassination of U.N. mediator Folke Bernadotte.
As South Dakota Senator James Abourezk noted in a speech on the Senate floor prior to the Ma'alot incident, the village of Kfeir in South Lebanon where his parents had been born "was bombed by Israeli Phantoms, fueled by American bombs and American money." In that attack four civilians had been killed: a six-month-old baby, a five-year-old and an eight-year~old child, and the mother of one of the children. Coming two days prior to Ma'alot, the Israelis could not claim "retaliation." And if ever there were heartrending de~ails that lent themselves to dramatic rendition, here they were. But no NBC spectaculars, no New York Times Sunday magazine or Parade renditions ever sobbed out this tale.
Senator Fulbright added his comments to those of his South Dakota colleague, noting that these persistent attacks cast doubt on Israeli's sincerity for peace, a capital reason for the U.S. media reticence to publicize Israeli raids on civilian sites in South Lebanon and on defenseless refugee camps. The standard Israeli justification for these raids had invariably been to bomb "terrorists" who had committed previous acts of violence against them. Yet the "terrorists" who committed the Ma'alot atrocity had died at Ma'alot.
Nor had other Israeli "retaliations" scarcely ever been visited upon those Palestinians who had perpetrated the provocative raids. Rather, the Israeli alleged responses" were aimed at eradicating any chance of a peace settlement according recognition to the Palestinians. A spiraling sequence of violence and terrorism was hardly likely to muster the respect from the world the displaced Palestinians so desperately needed in order to win acceptance of their rights~rights which, if granted, might jeopardize the existing character of the Israeli state.
What added insult to injury for the handful of protesting Senators was that these Israeli raids had been all carried out with armaments supplied by the U.S. through a vote of the very legislative body in which they served. As Senator Abourezk pointedly reminded his colleagues in the Senate (scarcely reported outside of the Congressional Record):
If we in the United States are to furnish Phantom jets, bombs, napalm, fire bombs and money to fuel the planes when they do the bombing and the killing in southern Lebanon, then we must be held accountable for the deaths that will result from what I consider to be official Israeli Government terrorist activities - no less terrorist in nature than an act of three of four individual Arabs who kill civilians in Israel.
  Mr. President, this raises one important question: "Where are the doves in the United States today who cried and who agonized over the killing in Vietnam - the killing that was carried out in the very same manner as it is being done now in souther Lebanon? Where are these people today who protested that same kind of killing in Indo-China?"
  The answer is obvious, Mr. President: They are deathly silent and in some cases, those very same doves are cheering on the Israelis in their bombing raids that result in the slaughter of so many innocent people. 80
The significance of the role played by the issue of terror in achieving the Middle East "cover-up" has been surpassed only by the contribution of the syndrome of anti-anti-Semitism to the "cover-over," which shall now be examined.


[End of Chapter]

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