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Many evidences: Israel attempted and assassinated a few US ambassadors

New book gives credence to US ambassador John Gunther Dean claim

“Israel tried to assassinate me in 1980” when ambassador to Lebanon during civil war

Middle East  

 

John Gunther Dean, now 92, and a former American ambassador to five countries, has long maintained that Israel was behind his attempted assassination on August 28, 1980, in a suburb of Beirut, which was attributed to a right-wing Lebanese group (Christian militia factions).

(That was before Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 and entered its Capital Beirut, and forced the PLO to vacate Lebanon)

Dean and his wife and daughter and son-in-law were in a motorcade and narrowly escaped serious injury.

Dean said that he was targeted because he was doing something regarded as antithetical to Israel’s interest: consulting with the Palestine Liberation Organization and its head, Yasser Arafat, at a time when such contacts were the third rail in US politics. He was also outspokenly critical of Israeli attacks on Lebanon.

(Israel made it a policy to frequently pre-empt wars on Southern Lebanon and killing civilians. No less than 7 such wars. The latest was in June 2006, which lasted 33 days, and Hezbollah defeated it. Since then, Israel is wary of attempting such attacks)

A new book offers backing to Dean’s claim.

But while that book has been highly-publicized, the question of whether Israel attacked our ambassador has gotten no attention in the press. That is not a surprise; for Dean has asserted that the case itself was never thoroughly investigated by the U.S. government.

Let’s begin this story where I first heard about it, from historian Remi Brulin’s twitter thread on May 30:

“On August 28, 1980, the three-car motorcade of John Gunther Dean, the American Ambassador to Lebanon, was attacked on the motorway by several assailants armed with automatic rifles as well as light anti-tank weapons or LAWs. The ambassador and his wife escaped unscathed.

“This attack is in RAND’s ‘terrorism’ database. Entry states that ‘responsibility for attack was later claimed by the Front for the Liberation of Lebanon from Foreigners, a shadowy right-wing group.’ Various media outlets at the time reported on FLLF taking credit for the attack…

“Over the years Ambassador Dean has repeatedly argued that Israel was behind the August 1980 attempt on his life.

In an interview for the Oral History Project in September 2000, he explained how the Lebanese Intelligence services had managed to retrieve the empty canisters of two of the light anti-tank weapons (LAWs) that had been used during the attack on his motorcade and, during raiding a house by the intersection where the assault had taken place, found 8 more. Dean collected the numbers on the 10 missiles and sent them to Washington to be traced.

“Three weeks (and one angry phone call) later, the US Ambassador finally learned ‘where the light anti-tank weapons came from, where they were shipped to, on what date, who paid for them, and when they got to their destination.’

The LAWs had been manufactured in the US and ‘were sold and shipped to Israel in 1974.’

In this interview, Dean further states that he “did find out a great deal about this incident’ over the following years, and calls this assassination attempt ‘one of the more unsavory episodes in our Middle Eastern history’ and ends by noting that ‘our Ambassador to Israel, Sam Lewis, took up this matter with the Israeli authorities.’

“Dean concludes: ‘I know as surely as I know anything that Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, was somehow involved in the attack. Undoubtedly using a proxy, our ally Israel had tried to kill me.’ [Haaretz covered Dean’s claim, made in his 2009 autobiography; so did The Nation]

“All of this has been known for years, although it is very rarely discussed in the US media. When discussed, Dean’s assertions/accusations are dismissed as conspiracy theories.

“In January however, a book was published that appears to reinforce the plausibility of Dean’s position.

The book is Ronen Bergman’s Rise and Kill First. It has received rave reviews in the US press, and its author has been interviewed countless times since the book was published. The book focuses on Israeli ‘targeted assassinations’ and it contains one truly remarkable revelation.

“In 1979, (Rafael] Eitan and Meir Dagan) both brass in the Israel Defense Forces] created the Front for the Liberation of Lebanon from Foreigners, and ran that fictitious group from 1979 to 1983. In 1981 and 1982, Ariel Sharon used that Front to conduct a series of indiscriminate car bombings that killed hundreds of civilians.

“The objective of this massive ‘terrorist’ car bombing campaign was to ‘sow chaos’ amongst the Palestinian & Lebanese civilian population” and, in 1981-82, to provoke the PLO into resorting to ‘terrorism,’ thus providing Israel with an excuse to invade Lebanon.

“The FLLF operation is described in great details in Bergman’s book. His account is based solely on first hand accounts from Israeli officials involved in the operation or who were aware of it at the time.

It is also described in detail in my article here [in Mondoweiss in May: The remarkable disappearing act of Israel’s car-bombing campaign in Lebanon or: What we (do not) talk about when we talk about ‘terrorism’].

“As I show in this article, not a SINGLE review of Bergman’s book in the US media has mentioned the FLLF operation. Nor has it been mentioned in a SINGLE of the countless interviews he has given on the topic over the last few months.

The US media has thus been fully silent about the fact that Israeli officials directed a major & fully indiscriminate car bombing campaign that killed 100s of civilians in Lebanon. This silence also means that the US media has failed to notice the possible implications of this revelation about the Dean case.

“Bergman himself does not mention the assassination attempt against Dean. But we know that the FLLF took credit for this attack at the time. That Dean’s own investigation pointed to Israel & to its Lebanese proxies. And we now know that the FLLF was CREATED and RUN by Israel.

“None of this is absolutely conclusive. Nonetheless, this topic might warrant investigation from US journalists (who might also want to write about the FLLF car bombing campaign, ie about Israeli officials resorting to ‘terrorism.’”

Brulin subsequently added this important comment:

Bergman does note on several occasions in his book that he is not allowed to write and talk about a lot of the operations that his sources talked to him about. I wonder if this FLLF operation vs Dean is one of those.

Let us add some details and context.

Dean was born to a Jewish family in Germany in 1926 and escaped the Holocaust to the United States in 1938, later graduating from a Kansas City high school.

It goes without saying that being ambassador to five countries, Cambodia, Denmark, Lebanon, Thailand and India, is a stellar career in foreign service.

I reached out to Dean and did not hear from him, but in his oral history, the ambassador says that the attack was a “horrible experience” that scarred his daughter.

The road at that stretch was wide and a Mercedes car was parked below a small hill overlooking the road. As we turned, our convoy took 21 rifle bullets and two grenades anti-tank fired against the car I was in.

My wife threw herself on top of me and said: “Get your head down” because I was trying to look out and was stunned by the “fireworks”. When you have these light anti-tank weapons (LAWs) explode, there are a lot of sparks and explosions.

two LAWs fired at my car bounced off the rear of the car. I also noticed that on the window of my armored car there were some shots all very well centered where I was sitting, but they had not penetrated because the plastic windows were bullet-proof.

In his autobiography Danger Zones,Dean says he urged the State Department to investigate, but: “No matter how hard I tried, I could not get a straight answer from the State Department about what the U.S. had discovered in its investigations… I was simply told to resume my duties as ambassador. That was not so easy when I learned what the Lebanese intelligence agency found out [using the numbers on the weapons].”

Dean says he was clearly understood to be an enemy of Israel because on repeated occasions he had publicly condemned Israel’s attacks on Lebanon’s borders and air space, a stance the State Department usually did not take.

Scurrilous attacks on me in the Israeli Knesset and the Israeli press just prior to the assassination attempt indicate that the Israeli authorities were unhappy with the activist role I played in Lebanon, defending Lebanese sovereignty and maintaining an active relationship with the PLO–the very policies I was given to pursue by the president of the United States.

The venomous talk in the Israeli Knesset by the right-wing parties portrayed me as a tool of the Palestinians. Because I was willing, even eager, to talk with all the factions in Lebanon’s civil war, I was suspected of being anti-Israel.

Dean said he had a “close working relationship” with the PLO– including calling on Yasser Arafat to help broker the release of 13 of 66 American hostages held by Iranians in Tehran in November 1979, those 13 being the women and African-Americans. “On a number of occasions the PLO helped me to get Americans released… American authorities considered the PLO a valid interlocutor for discussing ways of finding a nonmilitary solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

At that time, the PLO was verboten in official policy circles.

Andrew Young was forced to resign as Jimmy Carter’s ambassador to the U.N. in 1979 after the Israelis leaked the fact that he had met with a representative of the PLO.

In 1977, Ted Koppel and Marvin Kalb wrote a thriller that turned on a US official having a super-secret meeting with a fictitious Palestinian group, and it leaking and the official being charged with betraying Israel.

In 1976, the dissident Jewish peace group Breira came apart after Wolf Blitzer, who was at the time also working for the Israel lobby group AIPAC, reported in the Jerusalem Post that Breira members had met with PLO officials.

Dean had a reputation for being free-thinking in Washington circles.

In 1988, when Dean was ambassador to India, Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq died in Pakistan when his plane was sabotaged. Dean maintained that Israel was behind the assassination because it did not want Pakistan to obtain nuclear weapons, which it was then developing.

Dean speculation was based in part on the fact that pro-Israel congressmen (Stephen Solarz and Tom Lantos) had visited him in New Delhi and pressed him to support Israel’s ally India over Pakistan and to seek to thwart Pakistan’s path toward nukes.

“The more I pushed for answers, the more officials from the Reagan administration pushed back,” he wrote. Within a year, Dean, 63, retired amid official questions about his sanity under “strain.”

The department’s first thought was to send me to an asylum.” Instead he was sent to Switzerland for “recuperation,” he writes in his autobiography. “This was the kind of technique that the Stalinist regime used to silence its critics in the Soviet Union.”

Ronen Bergman’s new book on the Israeli assassination and terrorism campaign contains no reference to the John Gunther Dean attack. I asked him via a twitter message why he had left it out, noting that his revelation about Israeli security officials establishing the Front for the Liberation of Lebanon from Foreigners gives credence to Dean’s claim. He did not respond.

The Israeli investigative reporter is now working for the New York Times, and lately reported in the Times on the killing of a Syrian rocket scientist in a car bomb attack in northwestern Syria on the night of August 4, evidently by Israel.

P.S. The US government has had a miserable record of investigating known Israeli attacks on Americanson the USS Liberty in 1967 and Rachel Corrie in 2003.

Hero and healer of south Lebanon: Shukrallah Karam

Thirty-nine years ago, on 17 February 1977, Shukrallah Karam, 63, the only resident physician in the south Lebanese town of Khiam, where he was raised, was doing what he did best — tending to the sick and wounded at his house-turned-makeshift-clinic.

Outside, Israeli tanks and troops were approaching on one of their many incursions into Lebanon.

Posted by Hicham Safieddine, a post-doctoral fellow of History at Rice University; he co-founded Al-Akhbar English and is online editor of The Legal Agenda’s English page

Feb. 17, 2016

Karam’s wife Wadad and their 6 children had fled to Beirut and pleaded with him to join them there. But Karam, a former mayor of Khiam, was determined to stay.

“How can I have peace of mind when I am surrounded by thousands of miserable people?” he wrote. “Who would take their temperature and listen to their heartbeat?” Later that day, Israeli agents shot him dead.

A year later, south Lebanon fell under Israeli occupation.

Karam’s town became home to the notorious Khiam prison, where hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinians were locked up and tortured. It bore witness to a brutal occupation that lasted until 2000.

Karam’s assassination marked the end of a distinguished career of public service to the residents of Khiam and surrounding villages. The poor people’s doctor, as he was known, was a community leader who used medicine and social activism as a weapon against local injustice and foreign oppression.

His story sheds light on the largely neglected fight of the ordinary people of southern Lebanon at a time when armed struggle was far from the unified and formidable force that it has turned into today under Hezbollah.

Karam’s actions and beliefs embodied the secular politics of national unity and economic development that animated progressive forces in Lebanon prior to the civil war in 1975, before they were gradually replaced by virulent sectarianism.

Karam obtained his medical degree in surgery from the American University of Beirut in 1937 when Lebanon was still under French mandated rule.

Unlike most of his peers, who sought success in Beirut or other Lebanese cities, Karam decided to return to Khiam and attend to the needs of southerners, who were marginalized by an indifferent central authority.

He helped improve the health and welfare of southerners, operating from his home, or roaming the region, initially on a horse loaded with medicine and later in his car, to treat peasants and workers.

By the early 1950s, Karam had become a household name.

In 1956, Ali Hamdan, 15, had been tilling at nearby Shebaa farms when his pickaxe hit a rock and a thin metal shard split off and settled in his right eye. “I lost vision in my eye and when I used a primitive treatment with tea drops things got worse,” he remarked decades later. After a two-hour trek, the doctor had operated on his eye: “He refused to charge my parents a penny for the visit or the operation and told them to use the money to buy eye drops and a cream. As you see, I am okay and I don’t wear glasses.”

Karam’s public service blurred the lines between private and public life.

This left a strong imprint on his eldest son, also Karam, who became an accomplished physician in his own right and then health minister in 1998.

As a child, Karam Jr admired his father’s vocation but lamented the price: “Rare were the meals that we did not share with patients, who frequently showed up in our private quarters and bedrooms. [My father’s] complete devotion, like taking no vacations, supplying the needy with medications, tending a dying patient for hours on end, made any later sacrifices of my own seem trivial.”

In times of war, Karam was no less committed to saving lives.

Before Lebanon’s independence he had opposed French occupation. Even so, during WWII, his willingness to treat the wounded of all stripes on the battlefield earned him an accolade from the allied forces.

He turned it down and suggested donating the money to those in need. During the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948 and 1967, Karam, staunchly opposed to Zionist plans in Palestine, was on the frontline.

In 1948, he turned his house into a field hospital and welcomed Palestinian refugees fleeing Israeli attacks and wounded Syrian soldiers stationed in Lebanon.

In 1967, he headed to Mount Hermon where he supplied medical aid to Syrian fighters.

Following the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war in 1975, Karam tried to prevent Khiam from getting caught up in the internecine conflict between Lebanese and Palestinians. But the Israeli authorities tried to win the support of the Lebanese by setting up a “goodwill wall” on the borders which offered free treatment to Lebanese citizens.

Aware that this move aimed to sow divisions, Karam drove to the border crossing and offered free treatment to stop people seeking Israeli aid.

According to his son, Karam’s presence hindered Israel’s plans to divide and conquer.

“He was the only physician in Khiam. People solicited his medical services but also his social advice. He was widely known as a warrior for all national causes and a stout opponent of the occupation of Palestine. His political influence on the region’s youth and ordinary citizens was all too obvious. So they decided to take him out.”

Karam’s influence came from his political understanding of humanitarian work.

“His struggle for citizens’ rights, freedom from oppression and social equality were part of his beliefs,” his son says.

Karam avoided party politics but advocated popular political causes.

In the 1950s, he was a proponent of the pan-Arab nationalism of Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser. In Lebanon, he forged a strong relationship with the progressive leftist leader Kamal Jumblatt.

In the village, he helped found the Khiam Cultural and Social Club in 1974, a project ahead of its time, before civil society had become a popular concept. But then civil war broke out, and three years later Israeli invasion nipped the club’s potential in the bud.

The liberation of Khiam in 2000 revived interest in the project and people were finally able to openly celebrate the doctor’s legacy.

And in 2012, following fundraising efforts by Karam Jr and others, a new complex was built, named after the doctor. It boasts dozens of annual cultural activities including poetry sessions, painting exhibitions, and foreign language classes.

Almost 40 years after the doctor’s death, Karam Jr reflects on his father’s decision to stay behind in Khiam: “It saddened me to no end [but] I did not expect otherwise.”

He recalled how, before his death, the father used to listen to  Adagio by Albinoni on the radio: “Whenever I hear that music, I see him holding his head in his palms and following the news.”

Karam Moushka shared this link
The physician Shukrallah Karam, 63, was killed by Israeli forces in south Lebanon in February 1977, 39 years ago, because he was a doctor who refused to flee when people needed him.
mondoweiss.net

Infiltrated Israeli soldiers shot live bullets on Palestinian demonstrators

A Reuters camera operator captured on film a group of Israeli undercover agents dressed as Palestinian youth during a demonstration in Beit El on Tuesday.

The soldiers are seen throwing stones alongside demonstrators, then turning around, drawing their guns and shouting orders at the crowd.

By Celine Hagbard | IMEMC |

I couldn’t quite believe this but I’ve watched a few vids on it now and it seems pretty clear to me.

“Caught on film. Israeli agents provocateurs disguise themselves as Palestinian protesters, then turn their guns on them and arrest them. How twisted. They’d have a great future in the Ba’ath.

Before this footage emerged, a Palestinian told me that undercover agents often attend Friday prayers at mosques and join marches. Palestinians sometimes strip their shirts off en masse to find out if there are any in their midst. https://www.youtube.com/watch


Lisa Naomi Goldman has a good analysis here:
http://972mag.com/watch-israeli-undercover-agents-shoot-…/…/

See More

The video, copyrighted by AFP, can be viewed here:

Around 20 seconds into the video, the Israeli infiltrators turn on the rest of the demonstrators and threaten to shoot them.

Another incident on Wednesday afternoon was described on the website ‘Mondoweiss.net’ as follows:

“Videos of the incident …reveal 8 Israeli security forces dressed as protesters with their faces covered, and one with a Hamas flag.

After participating in the protest confronting uniformed soldiers and throwing stones, the undercover forces suddenly drew their weapons against the Palestinian demonstrators.

The Israeli forces began backing up towards the Beit El checkpoint and a cluster of army Jeeps. Palestinians sprinted in the opposite direction.

“Next a group of 5 undercover agents are filmed detaining a Palestinian by throwing the youth to the ground, and punching and kicking him.

While in custody one of the officers shoots the Palestinian in the leg. He is then dragged away, bleeding from his face, and soldiers detained him for questioning. Later the youth was transferred to an Israeli medical facility.”

The website Electronic Initifada documented other incidents in which soldiers dressed as Palestinians are seen in the crowd, then photographed again among the Israeli soldiers, working with them and drawing guns against the Palestinian demonstrators.

On Sunday, undercover Israeli agents dressed as Palestinian civilians were able to enter a Palestinian hospital in Nablus and snatch a wounded boy from his hospital bed, allegedly because he was ‘wanted’ by Israeli forces for resisting the military occupation in some way.

These tactics are being utilized in the context of escalating protests across the West Bank, Jerusalem and inside Israel itself, which some analysts are terming a ‘third intifada (uprising)’ by Palestinian youth who have taken to the streets in large numbers to oppose the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and denial of basic human rights for the Palestinian people.

An estimated 600 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli forces since Saturday, and hundreds have been abducted by Israeli forces. At least four Palestinians have been killed in the protests, including a 12-year old schoolboy in Bethlehem.

The tactic of infiltrating Palestinian protests with undercover soldiers dates back to the first intifada in the late 1980s, when the undercover forces regularly entered Palestinian towns and villages dressed as Palestinians in order to carry out extrajudicial assassinations against Palestinians suspected of organizing demonstrations against the military occupation of their land.

Note:  An Israeli Soldier’s Story – Eran Efrati
The talk by Eran Efrati was filmed in Denver, Colorado on March 3, 2014 as part of The Soldier and the Refusenik U.S. tour with Maya Wind. Eran talk about hi…
youtube.com ·

Chuck Hagel: Combining two Defense ministries: USA and Israel?

The Zionist lobby in the US has been throwing sand in the eyes of the US citizens claiming that Chuck HAGEL IS NOT PRO-ISRAEL IN WHATEVER ISRAEL POLICIES UNDERTAKE…

AND DURING CONFIRMATION HEARING TO Secretary OF DEFENSE, Hagel said:  “I’ve said that I’m a strong supporter of Israel… I’ve said that we have a special relationship with Israel… Ive never voted against Israel in my career… I’ve been to Israel many times,” he told Jack Reed of Rhode Island.

The first few hours of Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing have been sickening. WE THOUGHT he was named to be United States Secretary of Defense, not Israel’s defense.

The most urgent questions were about Israel, and many came from liberal Democrats insisting that Hagel is pledged to going to war against Iran if it acquires a nuclear weapon.

Philip Weiss, Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net, posted:

“While Kirsten Gillibrand of New York made no bones about “the most urgent issues– Israel and Israel’s security issues… We are fundamentally tied to [Israel].”  And Gillibrand demanded that if there has to be a continuing resolution in the event of a budget crunch, Hagel’s Pentagon will take pains to keep money going to Israel for its Iron Dome missile defense.

Does she believe this or is this just now the religion of Washington?

Hagel repeatedly asserted that he regards Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Revolutionary Guard of Iran as terrorist organizations. He abandoned every bold stand he has taken on Israel.

Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi said Hagel was reversing himself for political expediency, and that a week after Hagel had told the Omaha World-Herald that he opposed unilateral sanctions (American-only) against Iran, he reversed that position in a letter to progressive Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer.

But the most revealing part of the spectacle was watching Hagel stand up to John McCain when McCain said he had been wrong to oppose the Iraq surge in 2007 and the Afghanistan surge in 2009– and then watching Hagel fold pathetically when Lindsey Graham asked him to condemn Israeli settlements.

So: it was alright for Hagel to criticize the U.S. But not alright to criticize Israel.

Here’s Hagel’s show of spine with McCain [transcript from contemporaneous notes]:

“Do you stand by those comments?” McCain asked.

“I stand by them because I made them.”…

“I want to know if you were right or wrong.”

“I’m not giving you a yes or no answer. I think it’s far more complicated than that. I’ll defer that judgment to history.”

Later Graham the former military prosecutor badgered Hagel as though he had been un-American when he told Aaron David Miller that the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people on Capitol Hill and gets Congress to do “dumb” stuff; and Hagel ate his words.

The critical moment in this exchange comes when Hagel refuses to say what dumb stuff the Congress did.

In the Miller interview, he was surely referring to the license that the Congress gave to Israel to keep building settlements, savaging the two-state solution.

Graham: Name one person in your opinion who’s intimidated by the Jewish lobby in the US Senate.

Hagel: I don’t know…

Graham: I can’t think of a more provocative thing to say about the relationship of the U.S. and Israel… [Next, Graham challenged Hagel, tell me one dumb thing Congress did because of the pressure.]

Hagel: I have already stated that I regret [the statement].

Graham: You can’t name one senator intimidated [or] give me one example of dumb things pressured to do… One thing!…

Hagel: Well I can’t give you an example.

Graham: Do you agree with me that you shouldn’t have said that?

Hagel: Yes I agree with you.

Years back, Hagel repeatedly criticized Israel for building settlements and wrecking the two state solution. But not now.

So, again, it is OK for Hagel to criticize the US troop increases in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he can’t say a word against a blatantly illegal practice, building settlements in occupied territory.

Graham drew more blood when he savaged Hagel for being one of four senators in 2001 to fail to sign a letter expressing solidarity with Israel during the Second Intifada and denouncing Arafat and the Palestinian Authority.

“It was  a very big deal. At a very important time. The lack of signature from you sends chills up my spine,“ Graham said. `

Graham asked Hagel to reconsider the letter: to say whether he would tell the world at large and Israel that he had made a mistake in not signing. And Hagel said he would have a look at the letter.

Richard Blumenthal, the progressive Connecticut Senator, said he also wanted Hagel to reconsider that letter.

This hearing is a wonderful event because it demonstrates the naked influence of the Israel lobby in our political life.

But, you say, Lindsey Graham is a South Carolina senator; he is operating out of his nationalist understanding of imperial interest; the Israel lobby cannot also reach him? But I think it has.

I think Zionism has so influenced the American political culture, via political money and think-tanks and columnists and editors, that it has folded Israel’s war against Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinians and Iran into our outlook on the Middle East.

The conflation of American and Israeli interests has become an article of faith in the establishment. Graham is the latest example of a Scoop Jackson, the national security hawk/intellectual who has listened to neocons and merged the two nations’ futures.

Now it’s the afternoon, and Hagel is walking away from his comment that Israel keeps Palestinians “caged up like animals.”

Under questioning from Utah Senator Mike Lee, Hagel regrets that statement too.

Pathetic.

Pathetic state of affairs

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