Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Diana’s Death: An Assassination?

Introduction

To Whom This May Concern:

I work as a journalist. It took me bout a week or so after the tragic car crash which took the lives of Princess Diana, companion Dodi Al Fayed and driver Henri Paul to piece together that we, the public, and apparently the press, were being completely manipulated and lied to about the so-called accident. I’m really only scratching the surface of this truly shocking story, as I don’t have extensive financial resources to devote to investigating this story in any serious depth, which it absolutely demands. There are a tremendous number of very troubling inconsistencies and major peculiarities about this event which were never pursued, at least at first, by authorities or by the major news media.

Last Sunday’s London Times (Sept. 21) ran a crucial story which has turned things around substantially; it reports that a highly credible witness, a British attorney, clearly saw another vehicle leaving the crash scene at very high speed in an obvious getaway. This dovetails with mounting material evidence from the crash site proving another vehicle (not paparazzi!) impacted the Mercedes in the tunnel and clearly instigated the disaster — at least in part. Officials also said pointedly that they want to know why “bodyguard” Trevor Rees-Jones fastened his seatbelt not long before the crash. The implication is that he knew something was about to happen — something potentially life-threatening. Professional bodyguards almost never wear seatbelts as they must be ready for any eventuality at any time. The man’s background is British military intelligence.

The mass media really need to realize they have been played by some real masters of the art regarding what was definitely an intentional, meticulously planned and executed murder. The press urgently needs to start asking the great number of questions regarding this mysterious fatal car accident.

Please take a few minutes to read the item I’m sending you. It is a certainty beyond any doubt that the crash that ostensibly killed Princess Diana was an intentional murder and the reporting of the events preceding, during and after the tragedy has been thoroughly manipulated by intelligence agencies.

Incredibly, after major news at the beginning of last week (see first paragraph of report) of physical evidence and eyewitness testimony which had caused investigators to completely reevaluate the case, all mention of the latest turn of events seems to have disappeared from the news. Why haven’t the royal Secret Service, British Intelligence, Interpol, Scotland Yard, etc. shown apparently the slightest interest in investigating what is less and less likely to have been an “accident”? Even the merest indication that it might not have been an accident should have triggered massive investigation by those agencies. The fact that there was none is just unbelievable, especially in light of the latest news I mentioned. It might not be stretching things too far to speculate that itself strongly suggests conspiracy and coverup at rather high levels.

There are far too many holes in the official story. The coverup is relying on the unprecedented and quite unbelievable lack of media scrutiny of the events.

It’s just totally outrageous that this wretched murder could be contorted, spin–doctored and finessed into an being accepted as an “accident” by the whole world. That is almost more disturbing than the assassination itself!

No matter what, we can honor Diana’s memory by standing strong against the forces that in all likelihood viciously took Diana’s life. Diana Spencer consciously set out to use her position of great influence to counteract many of the negative and bitter results of such international policies implemented globally by just such forces, and it seems because of that, in addition to several other “reasons”, she was assassinated.

Part 2

Part of the police case against the paparazzi is that once they arrived at the scene of the accident, they (the paparazzi) failed to assist an injured person. Yet nearly all the photographers are claiming they were several hundred yards behind the Mercedes and that they arrived after the first doctor was already on the scene, an off-duty doctor who had been driving by named Frederic Mailliez.

An email communique sent to an Internet discussion group by someone claiming to be of the photographers who was following the Mercedes the night of August 31 says that he has not only fled the crash site but also the country, apparently because after he took several pictures of the wreckage and the victims, a very alive Diana spoke some extremely chilling words to him. Using an acknowledged alias and routing his letter through an intermediary for his protection, Mr. Merceilles declares (mistakes uncorrected), “I am one of photographer who followed Diana and her companion Dodi Al-fayed until their death in a car-crash. (Paris tunnel — 31 august 1997) I was lucky at that time, while the accident took place, I am 60 metres from the spot. When I heard a very loud sound came from the tunnel, I jumped from one of my friend’s bike (who is now detained) to inspect the scene. I could see a hand of someone waving at us to seek some help. With a terrible shock, I found that was the hand of princess.

I could not see her face clearly, as a warm blood streaming all over her face. She still alive and crying painfully. With “discourage feeling”, I forced myself to take some picture of her — (the pictures and negative are with me now and I am not intend to sell it for profit). From the distance, I could see people already gathering to see what was happening there. I do not understand the world, for accusing us (photographers) for Diana and Dodi death. As a matter of fact, It looks like all people of the world pointing at us as we are the greatest criminal of a crime that we did not responsible. I still remember the words came from Diana’s throat before she died. “Help… someone outside plan to kill us”.

A spokesperson for the Fayeds and the Ritz said that although Dodi had been “examined” by a pathologist in Britain before he was buried, this had not been a full postmortem examination, and that no blood samples were taken.

Lawyers for the photographers have questioned such procedures. “The behavior of passengers in the investigation of a car accident is very important,” said one. Another said he would very much like to know how much, if anything, Dodi had drunk that evening and whether he would have been lucid.

Of course absolutely no postmortem of any kind, which could precisely indicate the direct cause of death, was done on the body of Princess Diana.

Paris police have said that after the accident occurred the ambulance took nearly half an hour to get to the scene. Also the police have confirmed that they were escorting the ambulance back to the hospital but then became separated. The ambulance arrived at the hospital much later and the drivers claimed to have lost their way! This was reported on many European radio channels. Why aren’t the identities and records of these so-called ambulance drivers being released?

Witness accounts recorded by TV crews directly after the tragedy stated that there was an initial impact or explosion, then the sound of metal scraping followed by the sound of a very loud crash when the vehicle hit the tunnel structure. These descriptions were edited out of subsequent broadcasts and have not been heard since. What was the initial sound caused by? If a massive crash could somehow be instigated, the time, location, and condition of the armor-plated limousine would assuredly create some delays in any occupants not killed receiving medical attention, which itself could be of a terminal sort administered by specially assigned agents who, while returning to the hospital in the ambulance, inconceivably lose their way!

Has the scenario being presented — of all those photographers riding motorcycles and trying to take pictures of the inside of a car with tinted windows travelling at 120 MPH, at night, in a dim narrow tunnel — been seriously called into question, as it seems it should? Does anyone really believe that one or more of these paparazzi on motorcycles actually attempted to cut off a large automobile at such speeds? (Nonetheless it’s now certain that at least one other vehicle did intentionally impact the Mercedes in the tunnel.) Does it seem the least bit likely that Diana, Dodi and their bodyguard would drive off in a vehicle with a man supposedly so completely inebriated? Why has it been claimed that Mr. Paul sped rapidly away from The Ritz to evade the paparazzi when there was no antagonism or ill will demonstrated before the Mercedes left The Ritz and video footage shows the car leaving at a reasonable speed?

Although earlier reports had the Mercedes going 120 miles per hour, more recent bulletins from Paris say experts estimated the car’s speed at about 75 miles per hour. Why would anyone drive at such a dangerous speed just to get away from photographers? Photographs can’t cause bodily harm. If indeed the vehicle was travelling even the lower speed, it would seem likely Paul and the other occupants of the Mercedes were trying to get away from something considerably more sinister than photographers. With all the initial hue and cry about the paparazzi being a factor in causing the accident, nearly all still photographs and videos shot before, during or after the tragedy have been seized.

In addition to the inexplicable delay in the arrival of the ambulance and emergency personnel, there were reportedly serious difficulties in removing Diana and the other victims from the specially reinforced body of the limousine, which led to an additional delay of nearly an hour. Also, again inexplicably, during this time Diana was left to wait on the roadside while all the other victims were extricated from the wreckage before she was put into an ambulance. How could anyone not question why Diana was not immediately airlifted out on an emergency medical helicopter but was instead unconscionably made to wait and was then driven at a bizarrely slow pace by an ambulance crew who supposedly couldn’t find their way back to the hospital?! And this in a major modern city like Paris? Not bloody likely! (The ambulance however did manage to conveniently ditch their police escort). Diana was very much alive after the crash, and was in fact sitting up, gesticulating and at one point telling the medics to leave her alone; yet we are told that all the most technologically advanced medical resources that our present-day world and her wealth could command were not able to save her. The public should be told precisely how she died, of what specific medical condition and exactly where and at what time her death occurred, as well as who was present. If she in fact died of heart failure, and there was little or no initial emphasis on head wounds in her case, why was the supposed existence of massive head wounds used as the reason Diana did not have an open casket funeral? Also questionable was the fact that instead of being hooked up to state of the art life support equipment at Salpetriere Hospital, Diana was cut open and her heart massaged directly by a physician.

Despite strenuous contortions and permutations of certain investigators attempting to make unwanted facts disappear or to create the desired facts out of thin air in order to promulgate a bogus and fanciful theory regarding the cause of the crash, apparently some members of the Paris police have decided to actually look at the evidence and listen to the witnesses.

An AP bulletin from Paris dated September 17 does indeed indicate that Paris police now believe a second vehicle was in fact involved in the crash, and possibly even a third. It states, French television reported Tuesday that investigators are considering the possibility that another car was involved in the crash. The report on France 2 said red shards of glass, apparently from brake lights, were found at the crash scene – but that the Mercedes’ brake lights were still intact. Perhaps the Paris police force is reluctant to play along in covering up the awful truth about this miserable and sickening political assassination.

Another item datelined Paris, September 17, reads in part as follows (emphasis added): Authorities investigating the crash that killed Princess Diana are examining parts of a second car that were found at the scene of the accident, a police source said today.

Pieces of a tail light and traces of paint that are not used on the Mercedes car that carried Diana were found at the scene and are being tested in a police laboratory, the source said on condition of anonymity Similar traces were also found on the rear-view mirror of the Mercedes, the source said. An AP news item from later the same day stated that Paris police, based upon new evidence, are considering the possibility that even a third vehicle may have been involved.

The London Times report mentioned at the beginning dated Sept. 21 says that there is a highly credible witness who had provided significant and invaluable testimony on this aspect of the events to the Al Fayed lawyers several weeks ago. This testimony was passed on to authorities but was apparently intentionally buried. Thankfully it has now resurfaced. The newspaper quoted Gary Hunter, a British lawyer who was in Paris on Aug. 31 celebrating his wife’s birthday, as saying he saw a small black car fleeing at high speed from the crash that killed Princess Diana. He saw the car from the window of his third-floor hotel room. Witnesses had initially said they saw a small, black hatchback, possibly a Fiat Uno, near the smashed Mercedes. Hunter said he was watching television when he heard an “almighty crash” at 12:25 a.m. From his window he saw people running toward the tunnel and then saw a car turning from the area by the tunnel exit and roaring down the Rue Jean Goujon, the street below. “I heard the screeching of tires. I saw a small dark car turning the corner at the top of the road. I would say it was racing at 60-70 mph,” Hunter stated. “My own feeling is that these were people in a hurry not to be there. I am confident that the car was getting off the scene…. It looked quite sinister.” (emphasis added.) Hunter said the car could have been a Fiat Uno or a Renault. The Times article also said the lawyers passed the testimony on to investigators, who, incredibly enough, apparently ignored it,.

Certain witnesses interviewed right after the tragedy on CNN said that immediately after the event some people were around the car and that one man in a three piece suit screamed at them in French; that there was ‘liquid on the ground’. Understandably, the witnesses were afraid of another explosion, and so backed away as instructed. Of course, if there was someone in the tunnel just moments after the crash, clearing away witnesses, he would almost certainly be part of any assassination operation. It is now clear that early reports of the crash suggested Diana was injured, but that her life wasn’t threatened, according to the French doctor who treated her for some time at the scene before the ambulance took her to the hospital.

The doctor, who happened by and stopped to help, said she was “moaning, “gesturing in every direction”. Unconscious people do not moan and gesture in every direction. Early interviews with Dr. Frederic Mailliez also have him saying that he saw the Princess thrashing about, and that her condition did not seem desperate.

The presence of this doctor who just happened to be at the crash site when the tragedy occurred could be viewed as questionable; certainly it could have been a coincidence but it may not have been, and we have only his word as to what actions he took which affected Diana’s physical condition. His location gave him an incalculable ability to drastically impact the course of events — especially Diana’s physical wellbeing.

In addition, the Fayed camp claims that at the hospital Diana was able to give a last message to an unknown person in England, so obviously she was fairly conscious for quite some time after the crash. The crash occurred at just past midnight, but Diana was not declared dead until 4 AM. Also, what was this message and who was it to? Did it implicate someone perhaps?

Part 3

Something is terribly wrong about the death of Princess Diana. The factual evidence presented herein makes it fairly clear that her death was no accident. Diana was killed intentionally.

Diana Spencer was a human being of course, with some of the failings and weaknesses which that connotes. However, by most accounts she was a kind, decent person, who demonstrated genuine empathy with the underprivileged, the infirm, the oppressed and the ignored; those traditionally considered to be of lower social standing than she; also, for what it may be worth Diana was a true blueblood royal of England’s House of Stewart. Diana’s constant and wholehearted support for numerous charitable endeavors worldwide, and her extraordinary enthusiasm, energy and more recently direct political activism in so many causes which sought to improve the lives and circumstances of great numbers of humanity was thoroughly commendable, and clearly came from the heart. These definitely were not things she had to do. Diana seemed determined to use her position for the greater good. The tremendous worldwide outpouring of sadness and grief on the part of the general populace also came from the heart and was unprecedented, except perhaps for that following the Kennedy assassination. The response was certainly an indication of Diana’s formidable and widespread popularity. Perhaps Princess Diana’s potential independent financial power by way of her boyfriend, a wealthy movie producer, was becoming a serious political threat to the status quo. The senior Mr. Fayed had been quite influential in bringing about the downfall of the Conservative government which held power for so long in England This fact would have hardly endeared him (or his son) to certain major British power brokers; in fact they detest Mr. Fayed and many liked Diana hardly a little more.. Diana herself was becoming more and more overtly political in her campaign against the use of land mines and in her visits to promote peace efforts in Bosnia, etc. This was a threat to the stated New World Order objective of a destabilized Russia and a wary, edgy Western bloc (Europe, the U.S. and allies). The Royal Family is a major player in the high-stakes game of position within the New World Order, and international arms sales including land mines provide a substantial portion of their necessary operating capital. Some objectives of the removal of Diana as a significant influence in our world could be: to keep Diana from interfering with the further development and education of her two boys, Princes William and Harry; to derail Diana’s ever-more-effective international peace efforts (Great Britain is a major exporter of land mines); to send a message to and set an example for other members of Royalty, other world political figures and the entire human population; and to prevent a marriage to a member of the Saudi royal family.

The fact that her companion Mr. Al Fayed was “colored” or Semitic in race is probably a one of the lesser reasons. The fact that Diana was of the House of Stewart, Britain’s true and rightful royal family, and not of the House of Windsor, the German (Hessian) royal family which usurped the British throne centuries ago and still holds power, could be somewhat of a factor, as is the issue of who would exert the most influence over the further upbringing of her two children, heirs to the British throne. As well, the Royal Family is rid of someone they unquestionably saw as a troublemaker and a source of significant embarrassment; a thorn in their side and a monkeywrench in the(ir) works. In addition, the mainly Conservative power structure in Britain despised her and her humanitarian and peacemaking agenda and resented having to pay for her security. They and other governments may have had concerns about her increasingly political activities in light of her great popularity, perhaps also concerns about her knowledge of (and willingness to make public) certain information which could prove troublesome to the New (One) World Order, or things of that nature. Dodi Al Fayed had in fact purchased an engagement present for Diana the very day of their deaths, and a public announcement of an engagement would undoubtedly have been imminent. It has been suggested by a U.K. correspondent that this provided a powerful incentive in terms of time for British intelligence to remove Diana immediately. Once the news of her engagement to Dodi was made public, any such accident would certainly be considered much more suspicious. This jewelry was in fact initially reported missing from the wreckage (along with approximately 30,000 francs). It reportedly later turned up and was given to the Spencer family. It may well have been intentionally removed by operatives on the scene, and later replaced when it was realized that the existence of the gift was already too widely known. Even a brief but thorough study into the forces which have a measurable and significant impact upon the course of international policy and the political and social conditions in which the human race exists, will disclose the continued importance of royalty as one of such forces and prompt realization that its ability to influence the course of these events is (still) quite substantial. As a general example of such influence, all contemporary national banks in existence today such as The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank are modeled upon the Bank of England, founded by Britain’s King William III as a private, for-profit institution which loans money at interest to the national government to pay government’s operating costs, thus discreetly enforcing tremendous economic control (at least!) over entire human populations.

The Royal Family is a unquestionably a key element of the George Bush’s so-called New World Order, with a considerable network of supporters firmly entrenched in the United States political system. Certainly both Ronald Reagan and George Bush were unabashedly pro-Monarchy in great number of major foreign policy decisions implemented during their terms.

Most assuredly another ardent supporter is Bill Clinton, who was a Rhodes scholar, meaning that he was hand-picked, then groomed and educated at the expense of The Council of Rhodes to one day take his place as a world leader dedicated to bringing about the fundamental objective of the Council — a one-world government. Mr. Clinton, indeed, seemed peculiarly upbeat when making his public statement about Princess Diana’s death; some reports had him smirking during his brief comments. Clinton also didn’t even bother to offered any valid reason at all for his refusal to attend Diana’s funeral. Given that Princess Diana had recently focused considerable energy and attention on the continuing unjustifiable use of land mines and was campaigning vigorously for their global abolishment, the Clinton administration’s current vehement opposition to the recent land mines treaty overwhelmingly approved by 89 nations and widely supported internationally is certainly noteworthy and surprising, even if nothing more than coincidence and bad timing politically for Clinton. Great Britain is one the world’s leading exporters of land mines, Bill! Their production and sale most definitely fill coffers of some of the British Royal Family’s more ardent political supporters.

Following are the four news stories mentioned above regarding the medical condition of bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones. I have emphasized the most important sections and have edited the items slightly for the sake of brevity. In and of themselves these four items indicate deliberate distortion and manipulation of information. This can only be an attempt to suppress the truth, and realistically, that truth could only be that Diana’s death was not a tragic accident but a deliberately and methodically planned and executed political murder. A host of other inconsistencies and highly troubling questions have been raised which the protective and investigative agencies of both countries as well as the mainstream media have almost totally sidestepped. This very fact in itself seems quite suspicious. It should be, indeed it is imperative that the events and circumstances of the tragedy be thoroughly and completely investigated and examined for the slightest indication that it may have been more than a shocking and virtually inexplicable accident! A great number of such indications have just been cited, many of which have been known from the very beginning of the terrible events.

When all is said and done, we have all lost someone special, and it appears clear that once again it was no accident, but a deliberate act intended to deprive the human race of one of it’s brighter luminaries and finer leaders. The late Princess of Wales, Lady Diana Spencer, will be long and deeply missed.

John A. Quinn
all rights reserved

P.O. Box 106
Laytonville, California 95454
(707) 984-7178

“Myths, Lies and Arafat Videotapes on Capitol Hill”

On September 20, 1995, I was in attendance at the House International Relations Committee hearing that took place on Capitol Hill. As the press liaison for the Institute for Peace Education, LTD, I was asked to present the Committee with videotapes and transcripts of Arafat’s lectures to his peole in Arabic, as recorded and transcribed by the Institute.

The overall subject of the MEDFA hearings was sensitive: whether and how to allocate funds to the PLO’s fledgling Palestine Authority, within the framework of the proposed MEDFA legislation which would allocate $100 million a year to the P.A. for a period of five years.

Congress raised concern for two reasons: There were serious doubts as to the nature of Palestinian compliance with the Oslo accords, and if the P.A. held assets of the PLO that it could draw upon.

Though the fact that such a hearing took place has been widely discussed, the content of that meeting has been scarcely reported.

MYTH ONE that pervaded the hearing and the subsequent reports was that the session was promulgated by some kind of Likud lobby on Capitol Hill. However, what I discovered was that there exists no Likud lobby on Capitol Hill. Moreover, the American branch of the Likud is broken into two factions and is not currently functional in the US Meanwhile, the Likud in Israel expressed no interest in organizing, let alone funding, such an activity on Capitol Hill. Rather, several former officials from the previous Likud gov’t CAME TO WASHINGTON ON THEIR OWN during the summer months, as expert witnesses on the credibility of the PLO. They came at the urging of several American Jewish constituent groups, and at the specific request of key Congress people. These former officials, were: Yosef Ben Aharon, who served as Prime Minister Shamir’s Chief of Staff; Yigal Carmon, Shamir and Rabin’s former Chief Advisor on Counter Terrorism, and Yoram Ettinger, who served under Shamir as the head of the Israel government Press Office and later as the Congressional liaison for the Israeli embassy. None of them were even in the United States at the time of the hearing, although Carmon did have the opportunity to provide a private security briefing to the chairman of the House International

Relations Committee at his vacation spot in Upstate New York in mid-August, at which time Gilman viewed the much publicized videotapes of Arafat’s recent speeches to his own people in Arabic that were recorded by the Institute for Peace Education in Tel Aviv.

MYTH NUMBER TWO about the hearing was that its purpose was to halt any possibility of funding the PLO. That the PLO would get promised American funding was a given the question was how and when and under what conditions.

Gilman was concerned that the US Congress had not had any real opportunity to review the data concerning PLO compliance, especially since there was a clear Congressional legal requirement for PLO compliance as a prerequisite for funding by the Palestine Authority – a requirement that was also in Israel’s interest. For that reason, Gilman requested that experts and concerned constituents be given the opportunity to testify on the subject. Gilman also asked Congress people to view the Arafat tapes.

Both the Israeli embassy in Washington and the Israeli consulate in New York contacted Gilman and implored the New York Congressman not to conduct the hearing.

A senior official of the Israeli embassy was particularly upset at learning that the Arafat tapes were going to be aired at US Congress. That same senior Israeli embassy official had previously reported to Congress and to the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations that such tapes do not exist. In July, the embassy official’s story changed a bit. He claimed that the tapes do exist, but that they may have been forged. After Arafat himself attested to their accuracy in a meeting with Israeli media on August 10. 1995, the position of the Israeli embassy was that “some of Arafat’s remarks hurt the peace process”.

MYTH NUMBER THREE It had been widely reported that those organizations that testified for tougher PLO compliance were attacking the peace process and the Israeli government.

It is as if to say that anyone who criticized Yassir Arafat now casts aspersions on the State of Israel.

Yet House Committee member Rep. Gary Ackerman of New York pointedly asked each organizational representative who testified if they supported the Israeli government and peace process.

Every organizational representative at the hearing, including the president of the Zionist Organization of America, responded to Ackerman that they supported the peace process and recognized the Oslo accords as an irreversible international accord. Their expressed concern was that both sides keep the accord. The Congressional record of the testimony show that not one witness criticized the Israeli government.

MYTH NUMBER FOUR mentioned by Arab American activist Jim Zogby, in the Boston Globe of September 28, 1995, was that he was the only Arab organizational representative invited to attend the hearing: The fact was that thirteen Arab organizations were invited, including the PLO, but only Zogby accepted the invitation.

Yet several newsworthy occurrences went totally unreported: UNREPORTED “MEDFA” HEARING NEW ITEM NUMBER ONE; “The P.A. and its record with escaped terrorists”.

The representative of “Peace Watch”, the organization that monitors compliance of the accords, presented a detailed report of the Palestine Authority’s sorry record on the subject of the pursuit of terrorists: How, for example, the P.A. has refused to turn over escaped killers who are now in its jurisdiction, how the P.a. has issued weapons to armed militias opposing the peace process, and how the P.A. has firmly refused to conduct mass confiscation of illegal weapons. When Committee member Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana pressed the “Peace Watch” rep for an overall assessment of the P.A. record on extradition of murder suspects to stand trial in Israel, Peace Watch’s representative answered curtly, “It looks like the P.A. is 0 for 11”.

UNREPORTED “MEDFA” HEARING NEW ITEM NUMBER TWO: THE GAO’s STARTLING ADMISSION ABOUT PLO ASSETS AND THE CIA’s CLAMP ON HIS TESTIMONY. The head of the GAO, General Accounting Office, appeared as one of the expert witnesses at the Congressional hearings. The GAO had been specifically asked by Congressman Gilman to provide a detailed investigative report concerning PLO assets, before the US Congress would consider aid to the Palestinian Authority. At least half a dozen Congresspeople at the hearing quoted British intelligence reports that estimated PLO assets in the billions of dollars.

When the head of the GAO arrived at the Congressional hearing, with a briefcase full of documents detailing the assets of the PLO, the GAO head surprised the Congress by saying that the CIA would not permit him to reveal the contents of his briefcase to the US Congress. A hum went through the committee room.

Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen approached the microphone and asked for an explanation. “The explanation has also been declared classified by the CIA”.

After some bursts of laughter were heard through the committee room, the Congresswoman persisted with a pointed question, asking, “Isn’t it the case that such classification would occur only if and when American national security is violated. How in the world would the publication of PLO assets affect American national security interests?” The GAO head responded only that he could not answer that question.

The US State Department went one step further.

Journalists in Washington reported that a source in the American intelligence community asked that the Washington press corps not cover the Sept. 20th hearings because of the “sensitive testimony” that would take place that day. News agencies that had confirmed that they would attend did not appear.

As a result, the actual testimony of the September 20th hearing was not reported in any major wire service or news outlet in Washington.

Not the tapes of Arafat’s incitement. Not the Peace Watch testimony on the P.A.’s Arafat terror pursuit record. Not the admission of the GAO that the PLO has assets but that the CIA will not let him disclose them. The Israeli embassy in Washington got its wish. It was as if the hearing never took place.

In a parenthetical note, the Arafat tapes were indeed shown at the Congressional hearings. But due to pressures that were brought to bear by the State Department and the Israeli embassy, the committee agreed to hear only one minute of the tapes, where Arafat called for “Jihad”, a holy war on the Jewish state, which Zogby would later explain away as “dedication to a struggle”. Segments of Arafat praising terrorists or declaring that the Oslo accord was only a temporary agreement were not screened for the Congressional Committee.

The Palestine Authority’s response was not long in coming. On September 23, 1995, the P.A. issued a statement attacking the US Congress, saying that they had no right to add conditions to the aid package.

Throughout October, 1995, discussions continued, and further screenings of the Arafat tapes took place in Congress, even though they went unreported in the American press.

By the end of October, 1995, the date by which the aid to the PLO had to be extended, Congress had not agreed to a formula that would tie the MEDFA legislation to the necessary standards of compliance for the PLO and the P.A. to abide by.

On October 31, 1995, Yitzhak Rabin appeared at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee and expressed doubt as to whether the peace process could continue. Rabin also predicted a war with Syria on the horizon. Five days later, Rabin was murdered. During the aftermath of Rabin’s funeral, the Israeli embassy in Washington was able to get the funds for MEDFA reinstated.

Pollard: Israel AG Conspired to Obstruct Justice

Israeli Attorney General Eliyakim Rubinstein conspired to provide false testimony to the U.S. Justice Department, according to Jonathan Jay Pollard.

The former civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, who is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel on the United States, made the charge in papers filed on Sept. 18 with Israel’s Supreme Court.

Pollard is seeking to bar Rubinstein from representing the Israeli government in a case now before that court. He wants the court to force the Israeli government to reveal details of its relationship with him during the period in which he was supplying it with classified U.S. material. He is also demanding the release of the full text of the commissions on inquiry appointed to investigate the Pollard affair.

According to Pollard’s attorney, Larry Dubb, there is a “strong reason to presume that these documents establish definitively that [Pollard] was an Israeli agentx and not part of a rogue operation.” The case is scheduled to be heard on Oct. 29.

It was Dubb who submitted Pollard’s petition to disqualify Rubinstein from representing the government on the grounds that he participated in a conspiracy to obstruct justice in the Pollard case.

On Nov. 21, 1985, Rubinstein was deputy chief of mission at Israel’s Washington embassy when Pollard attempted to enter in order to avoid arrest. He was refused entry and immediately taken into custody by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Pollard’s quest to force the Israeli government to acknowledge that he was a formal, official agent lies at the heart of his current legal strategy. If he was an official agent, he and his attorney will argue, Israel has a legal obligation to secure his release. Since his arrest, Israel has sought to blame the operation on a “rogue” element within military intelligence, and to deflect responsibility from the top political echelons.

This latest twist in the long Pollard affair comes as a confidential State Department document sheds light on the tense relations between Washington and Jerusalem that followed Pollard’s arrest and the decision to promote his Israeli contact, Aviam Sella. The cable was released to Pollard under the Freedom of Information Act and has been made available exclusively to the New Jersey Jewish News.

During the period after Sella had been indicted by the Americans and promoted by the Israelis, the Israeli government was portraying the intelligence services and air force as virtually out of control.

The March 1987 cable on “Pollard Case Aftermath” was sent from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to then secretary of state George W. Shultz. The cable details the record of a March 11, 1987, discussion between the U.S. deputy chief of mission, in effect the embassy’s number two man, and a senior Israeli official or politician.

Arthur Hughes, now retired, was the embassy’s DCM in March 1987. The identity of the senior Israeli is not known; the individual’s name was blanked out of the FOIA-released document. Although Pollard expressed surprise that a member, or participant, in an inner cabinet meeting would “spill his guts” to the Americans, a high-level U.S. source has indicated to NJJN that the working lunch was routine.

The discussion came a little over a week after a federal indictment was handed down against Sella on March 3, 1987, charging him with three counts of espionage. Eighteen days after the meeting, Israel would announce that Sella would not be promoted to the command of the Tel Nof Air Force Base.

The Israeli who met with Hughes was sufficiently highly placed to have come to the embassy straight from a lengthy crisis meeting of the inner cabinet. The discussion took place “over a crackers-and-cheese luncheon,” after the Israeli failed to keep a “restaurant luncheon date with DCM, [because] the prime minister had asked him not to leave until the inner cabinet meeting on the Pollard affair was over.”

In March 1987, Yitzhak Shamir was prime minister, heading a national unity government that included the Labor Party. Members of the inner cabinet included Shamir, Moshe Arens, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, among others. Traditionally, aides and advisers are also present at such meetings.

According to the cable, the senior Israeli believed “that the Pollard case had the potential to bring down the national unity government. If Sella were fired, he would become a folk hero, as has Pollard, and the public outcry could lead to collapse of the NUG [the national unity government]. GOI [the Government of Israel] is coming under increasing public pressure because of mounting dissatisfaction with the way the Pollard affair and its aftermath have been handled and some kind of official inquiry would be the best way of dealing with it. The domestic Israeli aspectsxhave the precedence over the U.S.-GOI aspects.”

Pollard’s charge against Rubinstein stems from evidence in a new book by Leonard Garment, the Brooklyn-born attorney who served in various capacities in two administrations, including as president Richard M. Nixon’s confidante and White House counsel.

The key evidence supporting Pollard’s charge is found on pages 369-374 of Garment’s book Crazy Rhythm (Random House Publishing, 1997).

Following Pollard’s arrest, Garment was retained to represent Sella, the Israel Air Force colonel who had helped “handle” Pollard. During a trip to Israel to meet with Sella and his circle, Garment was told two contrasting versions of Sella’s role. The “official” version, favored by Sella’s Israeli team, essentially dismissed Sella’s role. On the one occasion when Garment spoke at length with his client alone, however, he received Sella’s account of his extensive involvement and took notes.

In June 1986, Sella’s Israeli team arrived in Washington and told Garment they wanted him to give the Justice Department their version alleging Sella’s non-involvement. Rubinstein was one of the Israelis at the critical meeting at Garment’s home.

Garment’s proposed draft was overruled and the Israelis insisted that theirs would be the one handed to Justice. Garment told the Israelis he would have no part in it because it “was demonstrably false, and the U.S. prosecutors could prove it.”

The Israelis demanded to know how Garment could be so certain that his version of events was correct. When he read them his handwritten notes from his conversation with Sella, they heatedly demanded that he hand them over. He refused. After some shoving, the Israelis huddled, then told Garment that he was fired. Now that he was no longer Sella’s attorney, they continued, he had no claim on, and no need for, the notes. Garment stood his ground and the confrontation subsided.

As a result of his having been there at the time, says Pollard, Rubinstein “was involved in a conspiracy in 1986 to obstruct justice in the U.S.”

According to Garment, Israel “tried to keep Sella’s name out of the investigations, [because] U.S. intelligence experts would have known that if an officer of his importance was involved in the operation, it would never have taken place without high-level approval.”

Sella was the up-and-coming IAF star who had commanded the 1981 bombing of Iraq’s nuclear facility in Osiraq; following Pollard’s arrest, Israel initially denied that he had a senior Israeli handler. Meanwhile, Sella was promoted and assigned to command the Tel Nof base.

This infuriated the American government. U.S. government sources intimately familiar with the Washington-Jerusalem dialogue at the time have confirmed to the NJJN the substance of the March 11 cable.

The senior Israeli complained that “the government had to figure out a way to keep the intelligence services under control, but he was not sure how that could be done” – a comment that implied that in the Pollard affair, the top political echelons had not known what the intelligence services were doing.

For the Americans, it was “intolerable” that Sella should be promoted and that LAKAM chief Rafi Eitan, Sella’s senior, also received a plum new assignment. If Pollard was a rogue agent, they argued, why promote his handlers? The American message to the Israelis was: Resolve this.

According to the cable, the senior Israeli felt the government was “in a squeeze with respect to Sella” and “thought that some kind of inquiryxwould diffuse the situation and allow things to cool off. Moreover, it would relieve the government itself from the tough decision of what to do about Sella. If the result of the inquiry was that he or others had to go, then no one could blame the government.”

The senior Israeli said “the government had to figure out a way to keep the intelligence services under control, but he wasn’t sure how that could be done.”

The DCM replied that if, as Israel maintained, Sella and Eitan “had violated policy andxhad ignored procedures,” they should be “punished. The symbolism of Sella and Eitan being rewarded not only would give encouragement to others in the future to engage in similar operations, but was a major contributor to the difficulties at present between our two countries. The advancement of Sella was a clear contradiction of Israel’s commitment to the U.S. that individuals involved in the Pollard case would be dealt with accordingly. Sella and Tel Nof were now off limits, as far as we were concerned.”

Pressed on Sella’s promotion, the Israeli “again referred to the possibility of the government falling if it were to fire Sella. He blamed [then defense minister] Rabin for getting the government into this mess because he had not stood up to the Israel Air Force and Chief of Staff Levy in quashing Sella’s assignment as Tel Nof commander.” The Israeli “said that Rabin’s reputation as a strong Minister of Defense with strong relations with the forces was ‘no more.'”

The fact that the Israeli underscored a close tie to the prime minister, and then blamed the intelligence services for the Pollard affair and the air force for imposing the Sella promotion on a weak defense minister indicates the possibility that he was delivering a message from the prime minister to the U.S. secretary of state, sources said.

In the event, the strategy of appointing inquiry commissions to get the government off the hook backfired. According to Pollard, the Eban and Rottenstreich-Tzur commissions “pointed a finger at the Ministry of Defense, all way to the top.”

The Eban committee report, most of which remains classified, stated that the “decision to run Pollard and all the stages of implementation were made by officials of the state who drew their authority from the government and, more accurately, from the intelligence services of the State of Israel.”

Pollard, however, said those responsible for his espionage included the top political leaders. “Some tasking orders bore the stamp of the military adviser to the prime minister,” he said. “It was not a ‘rogue operation,'” Pollard insisted. “My material was discussed in the cabinet.”

In trying to limit the damage, Pollard said, the Israeli government “submitted fraudulent testimony” about Sella “designed to obscure the fact this was an official operation.”

Pollard believes that Israel’s Sella strategy brought Washington’s full “wrath” on his own head. “The U.S. government was hysterical about Eitan and Sella being promoted, and they took it out on me.”

David Twersky is NJJN Editor-in-Chief

Permission to Reprint with Appropriate Credits

View from Fourth Circle: The Real, Historic Dangers, Opportunities in the Middle East

Cloak-and-dagger-style assassination attempts, urban car chases, midnight releases from jail, rumours of detainee swaps, and on-again,off-again diplomatic negotiations dominate the news headlines in the Middle East these days – but don’t be fooled, for the real contours of our region’s history are to be found elsewhere.

The Arab-Israeli conflict has become almost marginal to most Middle Easterners by any measure of accounting, and appears to be inching towards a clumsy compromise that promises to fully satisfy no single party.

It is possible that the sort of Arab-Israeli peace being negotiated these days will be a replay of two other flawed peace accords in recent memory – the U.S.-Vietnamese peace treaty of 1973, and the May 1993 Lebanon-Israel accord. Both unravelled or were never implemented, because they did not achieve a balanced and fair compromise; rather, they institutionalized the prevailing power imbalances and chronic humiliations that plagued one of the key parties. The Arab-Israeli peace process may follow a similar route, though I personally hope that things will not prove so gloomy.

The more interesting trend these days throughout the Middle East, especially in the Levant area, is how so many people from all walks of life appear to have put the Arab-Israeli conflict aside or even behind them, in terms of their day-to-day preoccupations. This is not because they feel it has been resolved – rather, they feel it is unlikely to be resolved fairly, and so more and more people in the region focus their energies on equally pressing but more attainable issues.

Consequently, and broadly speaking, Arab passions are steadily subsiding over traditionally hot and often humiliating issues like the Arab-Israeli conflict and the encounter with Western imperial and colonial powers. The main issues that drive ordinary people’s concerns and mobilise them politically are domestic, often very local – issues about social and legal equity, economic well-being, family security, personal respect and freedoms, and a wide sense of human dignity. The pressing power relationship on the minds of most ordinary Arabs, I would suggest, is not vis-a-vis Israel or Western powers, but rather vis-a-vis our own central governments and domestic political powers.

Three Arab countries are particularly worth watching in this respect – Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. They may offer a glimpse into whether domestic political attitudes are likely to promote future political stability or turbulence in this region. All three countries have opened up sufficient political space for the free expression of ideas, ideologies and identities, and what we witness in these lands is instructive.

In Lebanon, the former leader of the Hizbollah organisation, Sheikh Subhi Tufaili, has launched a civil disobedience drive that he calls “the revolt of the hungry.” His mass movement, centred on the economically depressed Bekaa Valley and Hermel regions, aims to check the deterioration in many Lebanese people’s living standards and basic education, health and employment conditions. Even the rightist Phalangist leader Karim Pakradouni has warned that the Lebanese government’s focus on laissez-faire economics and its lack of attention to rising poverty threaten to spark massive social and political unrest. He has warned that the continuing shrinkage of the Lebanese middle class and the advent of 30 per cent of the population living in poverty are promoting anger and disillusionment that are not confined to the Shi’a poor, but also plague other Lebanese Muslims and Christians. An estimated 200,000 people are impacted by the economic recession in the Baalbek-Hermel areas in Lebanon.

In Egypt, a potential mass movement against the government has been sparked by the implementation of a new law that lifts long-standing rent controls on agricultural land. The law allows landowners to renew their leases with tenant farmers on terms much more favourable to the land owners, or to terminate the leases (with compensation) and throw the peasant farmers off lands that they have worked for decades. Violent and peaceful protests against the new land law have already resulted in deaths, injuries and imprisonment. Up to five million Egyptians may feel the consequences of the new land law.

In Jordan, a combination of stringent economic adjustment policies, the still controversial peace accord with Israel, and increasingly vocal concerns about the quality of political liberalisation has sparked a potentially powerful but still slightly diffused opposition coalition comprising leftists, pan-Arab nationalists, Islamists and Transjordanian nationalists. About 20 per cent of Jordanians are thought to live at or below the poverty line. Not surprisingly, the expressions of discontent and fear by ordinary Lebanese, Jordanians and Egyptians have generated economic and political resistance that is being tapped by a new breed of political activists in all three countries. Coincidentally, also in all three states the International Monetary Fund and World Bank continue to issue upbeat reports on the potential benefits of impressive macro-economic adjustment. Expressing the common dilemma that their central governments can routinely call on built-in majorities in their national parliaments, opposition forces in all three states are attempting to mobilise new constituencies comprising alliances of the economically poor, the socially marginalised and the politically discontented.

At stake here is not only the immediate material well-being of citizens and their families, but also the fate of law-based political cultures based on foundations of respect, trust, dialogue, and consensus-building. Even though all three states enjoy open, democratising political systems that permit public expression of opposition to state policies, the three systems have also repeatedly failed to achieve workable compromises on important domestic socio-economic issues such as food subsidies, employment, education, medical care, low-cost housing, and other such basic needs issues.

The slow shift in people’s concerns at the grassroots level from Israel and imperialism to bread and jobs looms now as the single greatest test of these and other Arab states’ political capacity to respond to their citizens’ mounting concerns in an effective, peaceful and sustained manner. The worst-case scenario danger is that continued tension and stalemate in addressing real-life socio-economic needs may result in corrosion in political trust, discrediting of democratic pluralism, widening disparities in living standards and political power, and polarisation of society into bitter and violent camps of haves and have-nots. The corresponding opportunity is to accept the expressions of discontent as genuine manifestations of real, indigenous concerns by loyal citizens, and to respond to them through a strengthening of democratic consensus-building and the political culture of reasonable compromise and power-sharing.

Algeria, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan and other fractured Arab states stand as frightening reminders of what can happen when the opportunity is missed and the danger is activated – when power elites and political systems ignore or only pay lip service to the early warning signs of genuine domestic discontent rooted in socio-economic disparity. The real historic events taking place in the Middle East these days are only marginally related to the Arab-Israeli peace-making process that dominates the headlines; they are more centrally anchored in contentious political, social and economic contests and trends within individual countries.

Hamas Chief Rantisi

Suicide attacks prevent massacres of Arabs.
Israel’s occupation of Palestine will end when the Arabs and Muslim world are strong.

Excerpts from interview:

“When Mr. Arafat kissed me, it was a routine kiss, not a political kiss”, said Hamas’s political leader in Gaza, Abdel-Aziz Rantisi, smiling.

Rantisi was referring to the now famous photograph that captured him being embraced by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at a Palestinian “National Unity” conference…. the image has since been used by Netanyahu as evidence that Arafat is more interested in “embracing terrorism” than “fighting” it.

Rantisi cuts a remarkably relaxed figure…. That may be because he knows he is unlikely to be netted in the PA’s current sweep…. the PA’s Gaza head of Preventive security, Mohamed Dahlan, declared that there would be no mass arrests… and that Rantisi was not on the PA’s “wanted list.”

There are reasons for the PA’s reticence.

One is Rantisi’s pedigree of struggle. Born in the Palestine village of Jibna in 1947… Rantisi has been a refugee since 1948 and is a pediatrician who has spent the better part of the last decade in Israeli prisons. In 1992 he acquired international renown as the spokesperson of the 415 suspected Hamas and Islamic Jihad supporters Israel expelled to… South Lebanon.

But a stronger reason is Rantisi’s position in Hamas. By common assent, he is the Islamist’s most senior political leader in Gaza and probably throughout the Occupied Territories. He is credited with healing the breach that appeared between Hamas’s Gaza and Jordan based leaderships after the mauling the movement received at the hands of the PA following the 1996 suicide operations.

Over the last six months Hamas partially reactivated its network of social services throughout the Gaza Strip and, following the collapse of the Oslo process, scored impressive political victories in elections for Gaza’s UNRWA and Engineers’ staff associations….

Unlike some Islamist intellectuals, he [Rantisi] has little time for talk of alliance with Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement to unite Palestinian ranks at a time of national crisis. “I see Fatah as part of the PA,” he says, “I hope Fatah will soon realize its mistake in supporting Oslo.” Nor is he overly troubled as to whether suicide bombings hurt or help the Palestinian cause. “I don’t know if the military operations [suicide bombings] make Palestinians stronger or weaker”, he says. “I only know what every Palestinian knows [namely] that without revenge, Israeli attacks like the massacre in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque will be repeated.”

Rantisi’s overall vision for liberating Palestine is similarly basic. “We must wait”, he says. “Israel’s occupation of Palestine has lasted 50 years, which is not a long time in the life of a state. Palestinians must be patient until they and the Arab and Muslim world are strong again.”

Who Says that Baseball is Not a Religion?

Having just finished Yom Kippur in Israel, I read a thoughtful internet news column by a Rabbi Rami Shapira, who appealed to South Florida’s Jewish community to respect Yom Kippur more than the baseball playoffs that took place on the same day between the Florida Marlins and the Atlanta Braves.

As an observant Jew, I would agree that Rabbi Shapira’s point is well taken, except that the Rabbi goes on to make an inappropriate comment, which is that, after all, “baseball is not a religion”.

I beg to differ.

On the eve after Yom Kippur, the time has come for some true confessions.

Yes, I have sinned with my mitt and scorecard in place.

You see, I grew up in Philadelphia, a place where the Phillies never won. Prayers never helped. And then 1964 came, the year after my Bar Mitzvah, when my chabad teacher had told me that it was now up to me to keep Mitzvot or not. I was of age.

The Phillies looked like they were going to win.

I put in a special prayer for the Phillies on the first day of Rosh HaShanah, reciting the lineup and even the bullpen when the ark was open for special prayers.

But I decided that the second day of Rosh HaShanah would require a personal pilgrimage to Connie Mack Stadium.

So after I heard the Shofar at Overbrook Park Congregation I quietly moved to the back of the schule, feigning a tummy ache to my little brother and sister.

I had five crisp one dollar bills that wouldn’t jingle, which I had saved from my summer paper route for the Inquirer and I looked this way and that, feeling like Moses who had just killed the Egyptian and made a dash from the bathroom near the old men who were talking in the back, and calmly walked two blocks to the bus that took me to 69th street and then the subway.

Wearing my bar mitzvah suit, I was on my way to Connie Mack, in line for great unreserved seats behind home plate.

I had thought of everything: My Phillies Hat was in my Talis bag.

I kept the machzor with me and had it set next to my score card. The Phillies were playing the hapless Mets. 12 games left in the left in the season. six and a half games ahead. In the Fifth inning, mincha time, Frank Thomas, The Phillies much-needed right handed power whom they had recently acquired, was on first. Thomas routinely sprinted to second base on an infield ground ball.

Suddenly, Frank Thomas slides head first into second base, breaking his finger. That never happens.

I heard Richie Ashburn, say on the radio that the Thomas would be out for the season. Ashburn, the Phillies star turned play by play announcer who died last month, has been a Whiz Kid in the last Phillies victory and he represented the past and the future for the Phillies. Richie died last month, and that reminded me of 1964.

The Phillies lost. I made it back for Maariv to Overbrook Park. Or that is at least what I told my mother.

Little did I know that this would be the beginning of the Phillies ten game loss, and I felt that I had junxed them, since it began on the second day of Rosh HaShanah. Everything that could go wrong in those ten days went wrong for the Phillies. By Yom Kippur, there was no joy in Philly mudville. I remember my despondency that Sukkot, when the World Series Yankees of on Mantle, Maris, Berra and Ford were not facing our holy Phillies. So I phoned a call in show on WCAU, then the CBS affiliate in Philly, to ask the last Richie Ashburn what had gone wrong. Ashburn gave me an answer that I felt like a reproach for going to the ball game on second day Rosh HaShanah. Richie said that a great lesson is never to be overconfident and not to do things that you shouldn’t do. He was referring to Phillie manager Gene Mauch overplaying his star pitchers, Jim Bunning and Chris Short.

I thought he was referring to my Overbrook Park Congregation escape to Connie Mack stadium.

Baseball as a religion? It has all the trappings.

Two Myths Surrounding the Events Preceding Rabin’s Murder that Need to be Debunked

Two events haunt Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from the anti-Oslo protests: the “Rabin in Gestapo Uniform” poster in Zion Square and the “Rabin Coffin” at Raanana Junction. And while both are frequently raised by Netanyahu’s opponents, there is a critical difference between the two incidents.

In the case of the posters – really legal sized photocopies of a photomontage – unless Netanyahu is Superman in disguise, there is no way on this God’s earth he could have seen it from his position on the balcony. And when one considers GSS agent provocateur Avishai Raviv’s role in the Zion Square story it takes on the stench of a “dirty trick” to discredit the nationalist camp.

This is not the case with the “Rabin Coffin” story. There’s no question that then candidate Netanyahu came to Raanana Junction and there’s also no question that a full size mock coffin was paraded around Raanana Junction while he was there. Not only that, the coffin was not intoduced to the scene by some mysterious unknown group. Similar coffins were used as props by the group demonstrating at Raanana Junction for many weeks.

But here’s where coverage of the story goes awry. And it all starts with the label which has been given to that coffin – “Rabin Coffin”. Because it wasn’t Rabin’s coffin. Period.

Take a look at the pictures from Raanana Junction and you’ll see for yourself. There were two slogans on the coffin. One side read “Rabin is burying Zionism” and the other side declared “Rabin is killing Zionism.”

That’s right – the coffin wasn’t Rabin’s coffin – it was Zionism’s coffin!

Please recall, the slogans were not in some obscure foreign tongue – they were in Hebrew. And the lettering was large enough to be clearly read in the photographs which have been published of the “Rabin Coffin” in various newspaper articles.

Whether or not Rabin’s policies would ultimately spell the end of Zionism is of course subject to debate. But it certainly was a legitimate position.

Yes, the message of the protest focused on Prime Minister Rabin rather than his administration, but that’s nothing unusual. The papers today are full of political advertising attacking the man Netanyahu – including a new ad sponsored by Yuval Rabin’s own Dor Shalom group.

Was the use of a coffin as a protest prop at Raanana Junction something radically new to Israel? Far from it. Just a few examples:

Back on December 20th 1992, Israel Military Industries workers blocked Kaplan Street in a huge protest of the planned firing of 2,500 IMI workers. A few demonstrators carried a coffin, which they said symbolized the government’s recovery plan for the industry – and they burned it!

On January 20, 1993 over 1,000 Jews and Arabs marched in Jerusalem with a black coffin representing peace at the head of the procession.

Coffins continue to be used as props in demonstrations after the Rabin murder.

On May 16, 1996 Tel Aviv University students carried a coffin representing higher education in protest against a proposed tuition hike.

I don’t expect Leah Rabin and her children to be able to discern this simple truth when they peer at the photographs from Raanana Junction through their veil of anguish and hatred. But there’s no excuse for the likes of Ehud Barak and others from the opposition.

There are enough legitimate sources of strife within Israeli society today. The time has come to bury the “Rabin Coffin” myth.

Dr. Aaron Lerner,
Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
P.O.BOX 982 Kfar Sava
Tel: (+972-9) 760-4719
Fax: (+972-9) 741-1645
imra@netvision.net.il

Comments for Yom Kippur

First two quick comments about the operation in Jordan: When President Clinton commented that its illegal for the U.S. to send agents to knock off people there was an implied air of moral superiority.

Let’s think back to 1989. The U.S. wanted to put the leader of Panama, Gen. Manuel Noriega, out of business. So instead of sending a hit team to kill one man, the United States invaded Panama. The cost in Panamanian lives has been estimated at over two thousand, with 10,000 wounded and property damage in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The operation also cost the lives of more than 20 American soldiers.

It’s far from clear to me that America took the morally superior route.

Did all the talk from the Left against covert hit operations convince the Israeli public? Far from it. Last Monday Shvakim Panorama did a special survey of adult Israeli Jews for Israel Radio on the Jordan incident. They found that only 35% would oppose sending a hit team to Washington D.C. if a Hamas leader lived there.

I’m an optimist at heart and when Secretary of State Madeleine Albright issued a statement on the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations something encouraging struck my eye: Albright mentions “further redeployments in accordance with Secretary Christopher’s letter of January 17, 1997 and the U.S. Note for the Record.”

Now in case you’ve forgotten, the Note for the Record was written by Dennis Ross to seal the redeployment from Hebron. It was considered the crowning achievement of the Netanyahu Administration because, Netanyahu claimed, for the first time there was clear and indisputable linkage between Israeli and Palestinian compliance.

RECIPROCITY.

Israel was going to carry out the redeployment from Hebron and the Palestinians were going to immediately – the word “immediate” is in the text – set about to take care of a whole laundry list of problems including amending their Charter, cutting their so-called police force down to size, seizing illegal weapons etc.

But the Note doesn’t talk about the second redeployment. So when Albright mentioned the Note, I thought that that must mean that she wanted to reiterate the fact that the redeployments are linked to Arafat taking care of his side of the Ross note.

I checked with David Bar-Illan, Director of Netanyahu’s Policy Planning & Communications Office and he agreed that the interpretation made sense because otherwise it made no sense to mention the Note.

I asked Bar-Illan if Israel would carry out a further redeployment without first getting Palestinian compliance and he reminded me that there is a cabinet decision not to move an inch until the PA cracked down on the terrorist infrastructure. He went on to explain that the illegal arms, number of police and extraditions are all part and parcel of the requirement to crack down on terror. So I felt pretty good. That is, until I heard the PM office’s response today to concerns raised about further redeployments and a settlement freeze. Netanyahu’s Office said that these concerns were baseless. That’s comforting. But then they went on to claim that Netanyahu never hurt the settlements in the last year. Now I am nervous again.

Because Netanyahu did hurt the settlements in the last year. The redeployment from Hebron was a botched job and the first redeployment also was not necessary. Netanyahu also pushed through approval of the first further redeployment. And each time he did this he turned his back his holy principle of reciprocity. Now its one thing to make mistakes. But its hard to correct them if you refuse to admit that you made the mistakes in the first place. If Netanyahu claims now that he didn’t do it when he buckled to pressure in the past and forfeited Israel’s legal and moral right to insist on reciprocity I have no way of knowing if he won’t pull the same stunt in the future.

The last couple of days Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin has been talking about Israel having to end the occupation if it wants peace. But it seems that most reporters don’t want to ask the obvious question: what does he mean by “the occupation”?

I don’t speak Arabic, so I didn’t talk with him. But Abdel Aziz Rantisi, who heads Hamas in Gaza and is his confidant, speaks a terrific English. He told me, and I quote, that when Sheikh Yassin says “the occupation” this means the occupation of all of Palestine.

By the way, I asked him what he thinks should happen to all the Jews who moved to Israel from Europe, the Arab countries, Russia, etc.. Now this is his reply. Word for word:

Rantisi: I will tell you something. I feel that it is justice for us to do with Jews as they did with us… In the same way that they dispossessed our people. They killed thousands of Palestinians in tens of massacres and they destroyed homes. So I think it is just to do with them as they did with us.

Sometimes there are obvious questions with obvious answers. But the questions should still be asked.

Here is an example:

This Monday I was talking with Dr. al-Za’bout, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council associated with Hamas, and he told me that he is convinced that Hamas would be realistic and would have to rethink its position if there was a Palestinian state – even one limited to the West Bank and Gaza.

Well, what if the situation changes – I asked him. What if the balance of power turned against Israel’s favor?

I know the answer is obvious. But sometimes its seems some of us forget. So here it is: “Believe me, all the time the policy depends on the strength of the countries. So I don’t know what the future holds. Right now if the Palestinians can establish a state in part of Palestine and achieve their rights then I think that Hamas will accept it. But as for the future – we don’t know what will happen.”

Dr. Aaron Lerner,
Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
P.O.BOX 982 Kfar Sava
Tel: (+972-9) 760-4719
Fax: (+972-9) 741-1645
imra@netvision.net.il

Official Palestine Authority Paper Mocks U.S. Secretary of State Albright

The following is a translation of an article which appeared in the official Palestinian Authority newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, on 3rd October, 1997. The translation was provided by the “Palestine Media Review”


Antipathetic Woman
by Hafet al-Barghouti, Editor
Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda
October 3, 1997

In the past, when Maelein Albright served as representative of her country and Israel to the United Nations, she adopted vulgar and insolent positions against the Arabs, which she would follow with sycophantic flattery. But after becoming Secretary of State and discovering her [Jewish] origins, she stopped the flattery. Two days ago she declared that the settlements are legal. a position which contradicts the declared American position for decades.

Settlement is actively taking place with the blessing of American blood-suckers such as Moskowitz, and with official American financing… but the position adopted by Albright indicates she has reached the stage of “immorality”, in the popular understanding of the expression. She is no longer perturbed any Arab condemnations.

The lady visited the region and spat like a snake in the face of Arab statesmen. They praised her and would have sung love songs to here were it not for her advanced age and the fact that she has passed her prime and is no loner fit for anything, except for serving Israel and defending it….”

Netanyahu: Apologize if You Want Canada to Understand New Hamas Threat

On October 1, 1997, a few hours before the New Jewish Year began this year, Gazan Hamas leader Abdul Aziz Rantissi declared that he would dispatch more suicide bombers into Israel, to kill Israelis indiscriminately, whether they are civilians or military personnel.

On October 5, following the Jewish new year, you might have expected that Rantissi’s incitement and an appropriate Israeli government response would lead the news.

It did not.

Instead, the lead news items were the botched assassination attempt of a Hamas leader in Jordan, where two Israelis were caught with fake Canadian passports, and Israel’s freeing from jail of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Achmed Yassin to Jordan, and Yassin’s imminent to a hero’s welcome by Arafat in Gaza.

The continuing rancor in the Israeli and world media over the Israeli’s prime minister’s handling of the assassination attempt in Jordan served to distract everyone from the real and present danger posed by the Hamas.

A case in point:

One of Israel’s leading Arab affairs correspondents, Gidon Levy, who at times does not hide his personal identification with the Palestinian Arab national movement, reports how the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Arab refugee camp of Deheishe, whose open sewers and “temporary housing” are located just south of Bethlehem, has become “hamsified” of late.

Gidon Levy warns that Hamas incitement, not discouraged by Arafat’s Palestine Authority, is now “inspiring” every part of the Deheishe community, including grade school children, are preparing massive suicide attacks against Israeli targets, unless and until Israel allows the Deheishe residents to return to the village of Zacharia where they left in 1948. Zacharia, located just west of Jerusalem, is populated by Jews who left Arab countries in 1948. However, the UN resolution #194, passed each year at the UN, assures Arab refugees that they have the “inalienable” right to return to the homes that they left in 1948.

Canada, for one, leads the effort to fund the facilities of the UNRWA camp in Deheishe. Under normal circumstances, Israel would ask Canada to play a restraining role with UNRWA.

However, these are not normal circumstances.

If Israel is to regain the trust and confidence of Canada, so that Ottawa can again understand the security challenge posed anew by a reinvigorated Hamas, the Israeli prime minister should use the occasion of Yom Kippur, the traditional Jews “day of atonement”, to sincerely apologize to Canada for Israel’s recent bad judgment.