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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gladio -- Ergenekon -- DEEP STATE

'If Susurluk had been solved, we would not be facing Ergenekon'
Fikri Sağlar
Former Culture and Tourism Minister Fikri Sağlar, one of the most active members of the parliamentary commission set up to investigate a 1996 car accident that led to the discovery of links between the state and criminal elements, has said if a journal kept by former Naval Commander retired Adm.

Özden Örnek detailing plans for a coup in 2004 had not been investigated as part of the Ergenekon criminal network, the illegal criminal network would not have been revealed.

Sağlar maintains that Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, who said, "I am Ergenekon's lawyer," is a member of this illegal criminal network with ties to the state whose suspected members are accused of having planned and staged attacks and assassinations with the ultimate goal of toppling the government.

In an exclusive interview with Sunday's Zaman, he noted that politicians who attempt to deal with gangs within the state invite trouble and that these gangs have members in every political party in Turkey.

Noting that politicians who had in the past demanded that Parliament investigate an organization codenamed "Counter-Guerrilla" -- a clandestine army under the command of the Turkish Special Forces which was given the task "to organize resistance in the event of a communist occupation" -- are not in active politics today, Sağlar said: "This is no coincidence. This applies both to leftist and rightist politicians. Anyone who attempted to deal with this business has left their political career." Sağlar stressed that if the Ergenekon investigation can be properly handled and concluded, it will lead to Turkey's independence.

He argued that the Kurdish issue cannot be solved through the use of arms. "The Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK] feeds off of political mistakes in Turkey. Everything is done to maintain the armed struggle," he said. Sağlar spoke to Sunday's Zaman about recent developments.

Why has Turkey failed to unearth these illegal networks within the state?

[Former Prime Minister] Bülent Ecevit was the first politician to learn of the existence of the Counter-Guerrilla. Knowing this caused him much trouble. Indeed, many politicians who attempted to fight against the Counter-Guerrilla suffered the same fate, including me. We are the sort of politicians created by this system. When we attempt to combat these networks, some forces emerge to push us outside politics. It is clear that they still do this today. If you look closely at Baykal's behavior and actions, you will understand which side he is on. Baykal and the executives around him hinder politicians like us who are against this system and who advocate that democracy should function with all its institutions and that sovereignty should unconditionally belong to the nation, in which the rule of law is to be upheld in contradistinction to the bureaucratic military state proposed by the Ergenekon network.

Hidden hand blocks politicians

How are such politicians hindered?

Politicians who had in the past demanded that Parliament investigate the Counter-Guerrilla are no longer active in politics. This is no coincidence. This applies both to leftist and rightist politicians. Sadık Avundukluoğlu, the chairman of the parliamentary commission on investigating murders by unknown assailants; Mehmet Elkatmış, the chairman of the parliamentary commission investigating the Susurluk Affair, a car accident that revealed a questionable partnership between a former police chief, a mafia leader and a former parliamentary deputy who also headed a Kurdish family clan in the Southeast and was armed by the state to fight the terrorist PKK; and Sabri Ergül, an active politician who rallied against Counter-Guerilla and a former member of the CHP, are not active politicians today.

Akman Akyürek, a former judge and Susurluk Commission rapporteur, died in accident in İstanbul on Dec. 9, 1997. Bedri İncetahtacı, a former Virtue Party (FP) deputy and Susurluk Commission spokesperson, died in a traffic accident on the road to Esenboğa Airport in Ankara on Nov. 21, 1999. Several passports and ID cards were found in the house of Akyürek.

Has anything happened to you?

I had two serious accidents in 1999. But if I only tell you about how I was expelled from the CHP, it will suffice. When the Sixth State Security Court (DGM), deliberating over the Susurluk case, held that there is an illegal network within the state and that its leader is Korkut Eken, Eken told TV cameras: "Fikri Sağlar caused us to be punished. We will take our revenge." Two days later, the CHP started procedures for my expulsion from the party. Today, if you ask the CHP why I was expelled, they are unable to give a satisfactory answer.

Are there extensions of this network in the CHP?

Today's CHP is a party that accepts the e-memorandum and military coups. It has been transformed into a party that defends Turkish Penal Code (TCK) Article 301, the 1982 Constitution -- a constitution drafter following the 1980 military coup. In other words, it has become a body whose policies stand in contrast to the rule of law, democracy, rights and freedom. Unfortunately, such a party cannot be called a left-wing party. Voters who support the CHP are not like this, but its executives nurture this mentality.

So you're saying voters who support the CHP still think that it is a leftist party?

Since its establishment by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who opposed imperialism and established the republic, it has been considered a leftist party. When you assert that the CHP is not a leftist party, then name another party that is. But you cannot. After Erdal İnönü left politics, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) became the top party of the left wing. If the CHP was really able to be a leftist party at the time, Ecevit would not have been able to make the DSP the greatest party of the left wing in the 1995 and 1999 elections.

How do you think the gangs are formed within the state?

In 1950, following Turkey's NATO membership, the Counter-Guerrilla network were created as an official, but illegal, organization in Turkey. These networks were termed "Gladio" in other NATO countries. They were originally established to counter the communist threat but continued to exist despite the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Anti-communism associations were transformed into the Ülkü Ocakları. The Republican Peasants Nation Party (CKMP) mutated into the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) overnight. Organic links were established with the Ülkü Ocakları. These organizations would in any other country be termed Nazi remnants. This clandestine organization was modified into a youth club, which later affiliated itself with a political party.

At the time, they used the MHP for their own purposes. Then they sought more security by penetrating into more parties. Indeed, we saw that the Susurluk network infiltrated first into the Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) and then into the True Path Party (DYP). NATO countries in Europe purged themselves of these clandestine organizations but only two countries failed to do so: Germany and Turkey. In Germany, the Baider Meinhoff gang was destroyed in prison. Such networks in Italy, France, Spain and other countries were uprooted. The politicians and deputy chiefs of general staff who were involved were punished, but a complete cleansing could not be done. During the Clean Hands operation, the Italian gendarmerie held an armed celebration as if to challenge the operation. This implies that only a part of the network was cleaned while the rest remains.

The PKK feeds off of political mistakes in Turkey

Why did the Susurluk investigation fail?

In the Susurluk affair, the only innocent parties that were not involved in the illegal activities within the state were those coming from the Milli Nizam (National Order) legacy. These parties were marginalized by the state. In fact, these networks were established to also fight against them. The greatest ill fortune for the Welfare Party (RP) was that DYP leader Tansu Çiller was in a coalition with them. If at that time then Prime Minister and RP leader Necmettin Erbakan had not treated Susurluk as an insignificant matter but put state organs to work to solve it, many things could have been unearthed in the immediate wake of the accident. He, however, listened to his coalition partner and rejected the existence of this network in order to protect his partner, who was deeply involved in these dirty affairs. Then came Feb. 28, 1997. That network staged the Feb. 28 process and since he was unable to resist the Feb. 28 process, we now face Ergenekon.

Does this network have members in all parties?

One of the Special Forces commanders has said: "We have deputies from every parliamentary party. We had deputies even in the CHP." This network does not make any distinction between leftists and rights. It seeks protection from every ideology. In the past, leftists would hardly be involved in such networks. It was easier to integrate rightists in these networks by luring them with a nationalist discourse. But today no such distinction is possible. All are involved in the affair.

Rightist parties acted as lawyers for Susurluk just as Baykal is acting as a lawyer for Ergenekon?

Exactly. If you treat gangs in this way, you cannot solve anything. People who serve as the links in the chain might get punished, but the real network cannot be unearthed. The right or left label cannot be applied to gangs and terrorists. This case should not be viewed from an ideological perspective. These people must be seen as members of an illegal network and individuals who have partaken in illegal activities.

Was this struggle against the PKK used as a justification to preserve this network in the post-Cold War era?

The PKK feeds off of political mistakes in Turkey. Everything is done to maintain the armed struggle. The Kurdish issue cannot be solved through the use of arms. In the final analysis, some of the PKK members are citizens. It is illogical to try to "correct" these citizens through the use of arms. Counterterrorism has created new enemies, enemies that enable this clandestine network to reinforce its strength. If you are internally divided into groups and fail to secure social peace, this gives the greatest impetus to such networks as they use this disunity to their advantage.

For this reason, there is an ongoing effort to create enemies in society. Rifts such as those that exist between Kurds and Turks, between Alevis and Sunnis, between secularists and anti-secularists, between the urban folk and the rural folk and even between neighborhoods are made more salient. A culture of submission is being instilled in place of democracy. As long as these divisions and a culture of contention exist, we will continue to serve these networks, not to democracy. For instance, for many years, kids who were born in the western parts of the country were taken to the dirty war in the Southeastern. This triggered the division between Kurds and Turks and it was done intentionally.

You seem to be gloomy about the future of the Ergenekon investigation.

On the contrary, I am hopeful about it, but I have worries as well. Some people are trying to give the impression that whoever opposes the prime minister or the government is included in the Ergenekon case file and this the biggest obstacle to a solution for Ergenekon. The authorities should get rid of this impression. If this cannot be done, this case will not be solved. If you arrest many people and then start to release them one by one, you will be unable to find out who the mastermind behind this network is. If you keep some of them in prison while releasing others, you will not uncover the truth. With a 2,455-page indictment and an additional indictment of some 10,000 pages as well as ongoing waves of detentions, this affair has yet to be solved. The government must be extremely determined to eliminate this network.

If the authorities can get rid of this impression, do you think the network will be purged?

There are two fundamental accusations in the Ergenekon investigation: that a terrorist organization was established and that it was/is attempting to overthrow the government and Parliament. You can substantiate the terrorist organization claim by the 28 hand grenades that were seized in Ümraniye, İstanbul. But your point of departure to prove your claims about overthrowing the government is the journal that allegedly belongs to Örnek and details the plans of senior generals in office in 2004 to stage a coup against the government. However, it has not been included in the case file. It has been said that the journal will be included in the supplementary indictment.

Will it be included?

I hope so. It has been said that it will be submitted to the court before the case begins. If this is done, it will be a significant step forward. Otherwise, the most important ingredient of the case will be lacking. This is the defective side of the indictment. The justification presented is an attempted coup.

Does the offense of rendering the government ineffective through the use of force comprise a military coup?

You cannot render a government ineffective without staging a coup. Rallies or protests cannot be regarded as attempt to overthrow the government. This is against the spirit of democracy. Such logic would rip Turkey of its quality as a country governed by the rule of law. Only the May 17, 2006 Council of State attack can be produced as evidence for the accusation of paving the way for a coup, but it is not strong evidence.

Generals must be tried in civil courts

Where should the generals be tried?

They must be tried in civil courts. I spoke about this with military judges. In the final analysis, this is a coup attempt. The offense of changing the Constitution and destroying the constitutional order has nothing to do with military laws. They must be prosecuted according to universal rules of law. Indeed, had they managed to overthrow the government, these universal rules of law would have been suspended.

Of what significance was the official visit on behalf of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to retired generals Şener Eruygur and Hurşit Tolon?

The visit was restricted to two retired generals. Only Gen. Eruygur and Gen. Tolon were visited, but another general held at the same prison, retired Gen. Veli Küçük, was not. Gen. Küçük, too, was a general and a former member of the TSK. Why wasn't he visited? I find this considerably meaningful.

Does the Ergenekon network have external links?

If the Ergenekon investigation can be properly handled and concluded, this will spell Turkey's independence. This is where Turkey's full independence lies. If Turkey can conduct a trial according to its own laws, then this means it is independent. Turkey no longer has its own economy. The economic players are outside of Turkey. At least the politics and the law of a country should be independent. Considering how Turkey obtained the permission of the US for the Nov. 5, 2007 cross-border operation into northern Iraq, we can no longer speak of Turkey's independence.28 September 2008, Sunday ERCAN YAVUZ

The "Ergenekon network" or "Ergenekon" is an uncovered clandestine ultra-nationalist organization in Turkey with ties to the country's military and security apparatus. According to the indictment prepared by three Turkish prosecutors handling the Ergenekon case, the group, which has been compared to Operation Gladio, is an embodiment of the "deep state"; an anti-democratic coalition that holds "the reins of real power" in Turkey.

It has been indicted on charges of plotting to foment unrest in Turkey, inter alia by assassinating intellectuals, politicians, judges, military staff, religious leaders, and other public figures including Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk, with the ultimate goal of toppling the present government. The coup was planned to take place in 2009. This follows allegations published in Nokta that several abortive coups with the same intent were planned a few years ago.

86 people, including important personalities from the army, business and the secular press, have been charged with conspiracy as of 14 July 2008. Those arrested have included nationalist lawyer Kemal Kerinçsiz; the leader of the nationalist Workers' Party Dog(u Perinçek; retired brigadier general Veli Küçük, retired full general Hurs,it Tolon, and retired full general S,ener Eruygur. I.lhan Selçuk, a staunchly secular columnist at Cumhuriyet's daily, has also been indicted on charges of being the civilian leader of Ergenekon. Tuncay Özkan, former owner of Kanal Türk TV station, and 16 others, were detained in September 2008.

65 people are detained as of September 22, and trials will begin on October 20, 2008.

In an interview given to the Workers' Party's weekly Ayd?nl?k on 5 January 1997, journalist Erol Mütercimler said Ergenekon is a Gladio-esque gang hidden deep within the state: "It is above the General Staff, the MI.T and the Prime Minister. There are generals, heads of police departments and businessmen within this organization." Mütercimler was detained during Ergenekon operations but released. Mütercimler is widely credited as being the first person to have written about Ergenekon:
Defining it as a gang simplifies Ergenekon. What is a gang? It is the engagement of a number of people in illegal affairs. You cannot define Ergenekon as a gang. It is a unit of a big organization. Alparslan Türkes, [i.e. leader of the Nationalist Movement Party] and Turgut Sunalp (retired general) were within the Ergenekon formation. "
As I worked within the state for long years, I know that forming such organizations necessitates a big budget. It is not easy to establish such an organization as Ergenekon. It, first of all, must have a great staff. There must be businessmen within this organization. There may be drug traffickers as well. "

Mütercimler heard of the organization's existence from retired general Memduh Ünlütürk, who was involved in the Ziverbey torture incidents following the 1971 coup, and murdered by Dev Sol militants on April 7, 1991. Major general Ünlütürk told Mütercimler that Ergenekon was founded with the support of the CIA and Pentagon.

One of the first articles about Ergenekon to appear in the Turkish media was by Taha K?vanç, who based his 2001 article on a report dated 29 October 1999 and titled "Ergenekon: Analysis, Structuring, Management, and Development Project".

Based on documents allegedly prepared by one of the prosecutors, an article in Sabah says that the organization consists of six cells with the following personnel:

* Secret and civil cells liaisons: Veli Küçük and Muzaffer Tekin.
* Lobbyists: M. Zekeriya Öztürk, Kemal Kerinçsiz, I.smail Y?ld?z, and Erkut Ersoy.
* NGO head: Sevgi Erenerol. Kemal Kerinçsiz (assistant).
* Theory, Propaganda, and Disinformation Department head: Dog(u Perinçek.
* Mafia structuring head: Veli Küçük. Muzaffer Tekin yard?mc?s?.
* Underground contacts: Ali Yasak, Sami Hos,tan, Semih Tufan Gülaltay, and Sedat Peker.
* Terrorist organizations heads: Veli Küçük and Dog(u Perinçek.
* University structuring: Kemal Yalç?n Alemdarog(lu, Emin Gürses, Habib Ümit Say?n
* Research and information gathering head: Mehmet Zekeriya Öztürk.
* Judicial branch heads: Kemal Kerinçsiz, Fuat Turgut, and Nusret Senem.

Of those, the structure of only the "Theory" department has been deciphered as of September 2008.

Ergenekon investigation

The investigation began in July 2007, when it was discovered that a house in the Ümraniye district of Istanbul was being used as a storehouse for arms and ammunition.

The Turkish media reports that the prosecutor carrying out the investigation asked the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT), the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkish police officials whether an organization called Ergenekon is a terrorist organization or not. The National Intelligence Organization and police officials admitted that it is a terrorist organization, while the General Staff said it did not have information to support this claim. Ergenekon chief prosecutor Zekeriya Öz revealed that the MIT had been aware of the network's existence since July 2002. The first informant was a policeman who said that he had found detailed documents in the seized computer of Tuncay Güney I.pek, a former journalist who was arrested on charges of conspiracy. Güney is now rabbi "Daniel Levi" at the Jacobs House Jewish Community Center in Toronto, Canada.

Legal details

The Istanbul Court of Assize for Organised Crimes and Terror Crimes is handling the investigation, officially numbered 2007/1536 and sometimes referred to by the name of the location where a cache of weapons was found in 2007, Ümraniye. The indictment number is 2008/623 and the base number (Turkish: esas numarasi) is 2008/968.

The prosecutors are Zekeriya Öz (prosecutor-in-chief), Mehmet Ali Pekgüzel and Nihat Tas,k?n. The judge is Köksal S,engün.


The investigation exposed alleged links between an armed attack on the Turkish Council of State in 2006 that left a judge dead, a bombing of a secularist newspaper, threats and attacks against people accused of being unpatriotic and the 1996 Susurluk incident, as well as links to the plans of some groups in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to overthrow the present government. According to the investigation, Ergenekon had a role in the murder of Hrant Dink, a journalist of Armenian ethnicity., as well as in the killing of Italian priest Father Andrea Santoro in February 2006 and the brutal murders of three Christians, one a German national, killed in the province of Malatya in April 2007. Furthermore, files about JI.TEM, a covert and illegal intelligence agency within the gendarmerie, related the assassination of former JI.TEM commander Cem Ersever, killed in November 1993, to Ergenekon.

Documents seized in the investigation have also revealed that the group planned a bomb attack in I.stanbul's Taksim Square to trigger a chaotic environment that would eventually lead to military intervention. It is also alleged that those detained were involved in provocation and agitation during the Gazi incidents of 1995, when tens of people died in clashes with the police in demonstrations after an attack at an Alevi coffeehouse in the neighborhood.

Moreover, documents found at the nationalist Workers' Party headquarters also showed that the MIT intelligence agency had paid in the 1980s neo-nationalist militants, headed by Grey Wolves member Abdullah Catli, to carry out assassinations against ASALA and PKK members, as well as the bombing of the Armenian genocide memorial in Alfortville, Paris, on May 3, 1984.

Another document, named "Turkish Woman Master Plan," accounts for a plan to redefine women's role in Turkish society. The document was kept as a piece of evidence of Ergenekon's social engineering plans.

Republican Work Group

Taraf daily reported on 7 June 2008 the existence of a group set up in 2002 called the Republican Work Group (Cumhuriyet Çal?s,ma Grubu, CÇG), which was set up within the Turkish Gendarmerie following the election of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the November 2002 elections. The new group, established by Eruygur, has been involved in activities to influence politics and the social atmosphere in Turkey. Eruygur was appointed gendarmerie commander in 2002, the year the AKP entered office.

The CÇG's goal was allegedly to overthrow the government -- perceived by the secular establishment as an islamist threat to the secular order of the nation -- utilizing the judiciary and academics as well as other segments of society.

Taraf cited its source as an unnamed military officer who provided a CD on which information about the CÇG was stored in slide shows and text documents. The daily continued its report on June 8, noting that university rectors and civil society groups were among those working in cooperation with the CÇG. According to information on the CD, the CÇG has no legal standing and is not shown as being a part of the military's official organizational structure.

The CÇG has allegedly initiated a number of activities, reports and events since early 2003. It has blacklisted a multitude of individuals, agencies, schools, civil society groups, business owners and public agencies and their employees for their religious affiliations, Taraf said.

Alleged Ergenekon-PKK link

According to articles in the government-friendly Zaman, there are links between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the alleged Ergenekon network.

They quoted a senior intelligence office, Bülent Orakog(lu, as having said that the PKK, Dev Sol, Hezbollah, and Hizb ut-Tahrir are artificial organizations set up by the network, and that Abdullah Öcalan himself is an Ergenekon member. Zaman also writes that the former PKK leader, S,emdin Sak?k, said in his testimony that the Ergenekon network was in close contact with the group and even co-operated with it on several occasions. According to Sak?k, he was brought to Turkey by a group of men led by Mahmut Y?ld?r?m, also known as Yes,il (Green)—a mafia leader wanted for a series of murders and who had past links to the National Intelligence Organization (MI.T). Yes,il's name had surfaced in the report on the Susurluk scandal.

He said the Ergenekon gang planned to cooperate with a number of terrorist organizations, including the PKK, to achieve its objectives. "This cooperation was realized with Dog(u Perinçek (the leader of the Workers' Party) and several other figures. Cemil Bay?k (a senior PKK leader) was also among these figures," he remarked.

Those claims, however, have not been verified by any government source. The testimony of Sak?k was never released to the press hence the testimony mentioned above is not an official one. PKK's imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan, declared however that he had important information to share with the prosecution, according to Vatan, and Ergenekon prosecutors have asked detail information about his contacts during his stay at the I.mral? prison island.

Öcalan dismissed allegations made by intelligence officer Bülent Orakog(lu concerning himself, but he did say that a group inside the PKK, which he called the Zaza Group, had links with Ergenekon. He said that this group was led by Sait Çürükkaya and tried to seize control of the PKK. He added : "Particularly in the Diyarbak?r-Mus,-Bingöl triangle, they have staged intensive and bloody attacks."

Recently uncovered evidence suggests that the 1993 death of General Es,ref Bitlis, and that of journalist Ug(ur Mumcu may be related to Ergenekon. Both Bitlis and Mumcu were investigating how Jalal Talabani, one of the Kurdish leaders of northern Iraq and, as of 2008, president of Iraq, came into possession of 100,000 firearms.

Alleged Ergenekon-Hizb-ut Tahrir links

Lieutenant Mehmet Ali Çelebi, detained in the Ergenekon investigations, allegedly had links with the extreme Islamist group Hizb-ut Tahrir. Çelebi was allegedly the key which made possible the arrest of five Hizbt-ut-Tahrir members in September 2008.

Suspects and detainees

86 people were indicted in July 2008, 48 of whom were detained:

Oktay Y?ld?r?m (retired petty officer), Muzaffer Tekin (retired lieutenant), Mahmut Öztürk (retired petty officer), Fikret Emek (retired major), Gazi Güder (retired lieutenant), Zekeriya Öztürk (retired major), Mehmet Demirtas, (landlord of the warehouse for arms and ammunition), Muzaffer S,enocak, Ali Kutlu, Ayd?n Yüksek, Bekir Öztürk (President of the Kuvay? Milliye Derneg(i), Nusret Senem (Secretary General of the Workers' Party), I.smail Y?ld?z, Ergün Poyraz (author), Asuman Özdemir, Mete Yalazangil, Muhammet Yüce (retired sergeant), Kahraman S,ahin, Erol Ölmez, Erkut Ersoy, Veli Küçük (retired general), Fikri Karadag( (retired colonel), Kemal Kerinçsiz (attorney-at-law), Sami Hos,tan (Susurluk scandal convict), Hüseyin Görüm (President of the Kuvay-i Milliye Organisation), Og(uz Alpaslan Abdülkadir, Hüseyin Gazi Og(uz (President of the Branch of Kuvay-i Milliye Society), Sevgi Erenerol (Spokesperson of the Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate), Abdullah Arapog(lu, Hikmet Çiçek, Ümit Og(uztan, Vatan Bölükbas,?, Ümit Say?n (associate professor at Istanbul University), Emin Gürses (associate professor at Sakarya University), Orhan Tunç (writer and retired lecturer from Bal?kesir University), Hayrettin Ertekin (jeweller), Vedat Yenerer (journalist), Muammer Karabulut (chairman of the Ayasofya Association and of the Father Christmas Peace Council; spokesman of the National Force Platform), Abdulmuttalip Tongar, Selim Akkurt, Dog(u Perinçek (President of the Workers' Party), Ferit Ilsever (General Manager of Ulusal TV Channel), Adnan Akf?rat (journalist), Serhan Bolluk (General Manager of Ayd?nl?k newspaper), Hayati Özcan (Representative of the Ulusal TV Channel in Izmir), Behiç Gürcihan (owner of the Aç?k I.stihbarat Web site), Rasim Görüm, Murat Çag(lar, Barbaros Hayrettin Alt?ntas,, Sinan Aygün (President of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce), Atilla Ug(ur (retired major), Birol Bas,aran (President of the Kad?köy branch of the Atatürkçü Düs,ünce Society), Kemal Ayd?n, I.brahim Özcan, Durmus, Ali Özog(lu, Osman Gürbüz, Hurs,it Tolon (retired full general), S,ener Eruygur (retired full general; conditionally released after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage).

The eighth wave of detainments took place in September, producing 11 detainees and 19 suspects, including Tuncay Özkan (journalist, former owner of Kanal Türk TV station, and leader of the anti-Islamist "How many are we?" movement), Duygu Dikmenog(lu (television anchor), Emcet Olcaytu (legal adviser), Tuncay Mollaveyisog(lu (Kanalturk employee), Evrim Baykara (NGO member), Adnan Bulut (television executive), Gürbüz Çapan (former mayor of I.stanbul's Esenyurt district and shareholder of Cumhuriyet), Tanju Güvendiren (former member of the Military Supreme Court of Appeals, who served in the now defunct State Security Courts (DGM) and issued the order to arrest former Police Intelligence Department Chief Hanefi Avc?, who was investigating the Susurluk scandal), Mesut Özcan (cardiologist), Mahir Akkar (civil servant), Hasan K?l?çarslan (retired policeman), Serdar Saçan (police chief), S,afak Akbas, (forensicist), Y?ld?ray Bas,aran (forensicist), Mustafa Tavs,an (forensicist).

Kuddusi Okk?r, detained for allegedly being the financial supplier of the Ergenekon network, died from cancer only a few days after he was released. According to his wife, Sabriye Okk?r, he was in stable condition prior to his arrest on 23 June 2007. She claims that the authorities have done nothing to save her husband's life and filed a complaint to the Ministry of Justice. Shortly after that the ministry opened an investigation to determine the accuracy of those claims.

Most convicts may face at least ten years in prison; the alleged ringleaders, Dog(u Perinçek, Mehmet Fikri Karadag(, Veli Küçük, I.lhan Selçuk and Muzaffer Tekin may be imprisoned for life, if convicted.


Many people have criticized the manner in which the Ergenekon investigation is being conducted, citing in particular the length of the indictment, wiretapping in breach of privacy laws, and political motivations. The media's coverage of the investigation has also been criticized—for releasing misinformation.

Bekir Coskun, of the daily Hürriyet, claims that the aim of the Ergenekon investigation is to create public fear and an organization capable of carrying out the alleged crimes is not very plausible. Several observers, including opposition CHP leader Deniz Baykal, have pointed out that the closure case against the AKP and the Ergenekon probe coincided with one another. However, the chronology surrounding the two events would seem to suggest otherwise as the AKP closure case was started on March 14, 2008, whereas the bombs in Ümraniye which exposed the network exploded nine months earlier, on June 13, 2007. Opposition DSP leader Zeki Sezer said that the AKP was building an "empire of fear". Ankara University's Bask?n Oran sees such reactions as indicative of the left's inability to accurately assess the situation, and says that the state is simply purging itself of undemocratic elements. Former Minister of Culture and member of the Susurluk commission, Fikri Sag(lar, said that Ergenekon is a continuation of Susurluk. He added that the network lacked popular support.

The editor-in-chief of the Aks,am daily, Serdar Turgut, lamented that "Those who killed, those who were killed, and us, who tried to build a set of ideas to get our country out of chaos. It turns out that we lived a wasted life. It turns out we were all puppets."

Many Turkish analysts have criticized the declared volume of this case, saying that this long an indictment is unprecedented and besides putting an unmanageable burden on the court it would also jeopardize the chances of reaching a just resolution of this case. Some analysts have reminded that the indictment in the Nuremberg Trials—"the mother of all cases"—was less than 70 pages long.

Former US Ambassador to Turkey, Mark Parris said that one of the most important actors in the current crisis in Turkey are the unknown third forces behind the "Ergenekon" probe that may be acting on behalf of the prime minister, or that the prime minister may or may not know about. The alleged unknown forces, organized in the Police Intelligence department and has prosecutors, seem to be united against the front that want to topple Erdogan and are determined to stop them.

In August 2008, 300 intellectuals from Turkey declared their support for the investigation and called upon all civil and military institutions to deepen the investigation in order to reveal the rest of the people tied to Ergenekon.

Mentioning the Italian Mani pulite case as a precedent, an article in the Turkish Daily News said that the wiretaps may have been obtained in breach of privacy laws. Other sources have voiced similar concerns.

In September 2008, suspects Muzaffer Tekin, Ergün Poyraz, Kemal Kerinçsiz, Dog(u Perinçek and Colonel Erdal Sar?zeybek filed a criminal report against the prosecutors, citing "conducting a biased investigation, gross misconduct and exercises not fit to a prosecutor." The Minister of Justice, Mehmet Ali Sahin, rejected the inquiry, having found no wrongdoing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Israel - the unholy land - Iraqi jew confession

Also see


"During its 37 years of occupation, Israel has already violated every article of the Geneva convention."
-- shez

"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population." David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff.

"Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories." Benjamin Netanyahu: Speech at Bar-Ilan University, 1989

"We must expel Arabs and take their places." David Ben Gurion, 1937, Ben Gurion and the Palestine Arabs, Oxford University Press, 1985.

"We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves." Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, October 1983.

"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population." Israel Koenig, "The Koenig Memorandum"

"The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more".... Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel at the time - August 28, 2000. Reported in the Jerusalem Post August 30, 2000

“The Palestinians" would be crushed like grasshoppers ... heads smashed against the boulders and walls." Israeli Prime Minister Menahim Begin in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988

List of Palestinian Localities destroyed after the creation of the State of Israel (1948) by Christoph Uehlinger

The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict Published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East

Tom Hundall


Israeli soldier shoots British ISM activist Tom Hundall in Gaza
Press Release, International Solidarity Movement, 11 April 2003

UK Mother Writes: The Israeli Army Shot My Son Tuesday, 13 January 2004 - It hurts me to hear the deafening silence of our own government. How can there have been no statement of condemnation or condolence for the innocent victims of Israel's mindless violence from our own prime minister, Tony Blair? The silence was only broken when on Christmas day the United States president "strongly condemned" the actions of the suicide bombers responsible for killing four Israeli soldiers at a bus stop just outside Tel Aviv. Does this double standard not underline the lack of regard in which both the British and US governments hold Palestinian life?

Peace activist's father demands probe London |By Mustapha Karkouti | 20-04-2003 - The British government is pressing for an investigation, but sources believe the Israeli military might block the process as they have done before in the case of Ian Hook, a British United Nations official, killed by Israel snipers in Jenin last November.

Soldier 'tried to cover up killing of British activist' By Inigo Gilmore in Jerusalem (Filed: 18/01/2004) - tried to cover up his crime by asking for his commander's permission to shoot an "armed man" moments after he had already fired the fatal shot.

Rachel Corrie

The photos below clearly show that Rachel was well marked, had a megaphone, and posed no threat to the bulldozer driver.


Clearly marked Rachel Corrie, holding a megaphone, confronts an Israeli army bulldozer driver attempting to demolish a Palestinian home, Rafah, Occupied Gaza, 16 March 2003. (ISM Handout)


Other peace activists tend to Rachel after being run over by the Israeli army bulldozer driver, Rafah, Occupied Gaza, 16 March 2003. (ISM Handout)


Rachel Corrie lies on the ground fatally injured by the Israeli bulldozer, Rafah, Occupied Gaza, 16 March 2003. (ISM Handout)

Rachel Corrie's voice silenced yet again PDF Eli Stephens April 3, 2007 - This time in Florida

Capitulation to Zionist censors: Play on Rachel Corrie canceled by New York theater group PDF By Peter Daniels 3 March 2006

Israeli bulldozer driver murders American peace activist Nigel Parry and Arjan El Fassed, The Electronic Intifada, 16 March 2003

Israeli army whitewashes its murder of US peace activist Rachel Corrie By David Cohen 5 July 2003 - A spokesperson for Israel’s army argued that Corrie was killed by earth and building rubble falling on her while she tried to climb on a pile of earth as the bulldozer continued in its demolition work. The Israeli army’s investigation argued in a statement that the soldiers did not see Corrie as she was standing behind the mound of earth “and it was not possible to see her or to hear her voice”. It added, “It is clear the death of Ms Corrie was not caused as a result of a direct action by the bulldozer or by its running her over.” [See the pictures above to know it's a lie]

A Beautiful Flower Unplucked by Heartless Monsters / Murder by Army Bulldozer 17 Mar 2003 - At about 5.20 pm today Rachel Corrie from Olympia in Washington State, USA died of her injuries in A-Najar Hospital in Rafah after being deliberately run over by an Israeli military bulldozer.

Murder in cold blood
American peace activist Rachel Corrie's death was no accident. Rasha Saad speaks to a witness to the tragedy

`It's a terrible thing, living with the knowledge that you crushed our daughter' By Nathan Guttman

A list of UN Resolutions against "Israel" Here is a list of UN resolutions that Israel has not complied with, far more than Iraq. Note that she has also illegally developed nuclear weapons. Further, the situation is far worse than would at first appear, it involves the serious distortion of the official Security Council record by the profligate use by the United States of its veto power. (See Table) Israel's, defiance goes back to its very beginnings. This collection of resolutions criticizing Israel is unmatched by the record of any other nation as Israel stands in violation of more UN resolutions than ANY OTHER NATION ON EARTH.

A list of UN Resolutions against "Israel" 1955-1992: *
Resolution 106: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for Gaza raid". *
Resolution 111: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for raid on Syria that killed fifty-six people". * Resolution 127: " . . . 'recommends' Israel suspends it's 'no-man's zone' in Jerusalem". *
Resolution 162: " . . . 'urges' Israel to comply with UN decisions". *
Resolution 171: " . . . determines flagrant violations' by Israel in its attack on Syria". Resolution 228: " . . . 'censures' Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control". *
Resolution 237: " . . . 'urges' Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees". Resolution 248: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for its massive attack on Karameh in Jordan". *
Resolution 250: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem". *
Resolution 251: " . . . 'deeply deplores' Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250". *
Resolution 252: " . . . 'declares invalid' Israel's acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital". *
Resolution 256: " . . . 'condemns' Israeli raids on Jordan as 'flagrant violation". * Resolution 259: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation". *
Resolution 262: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for attack on Beirut airport". *
Resolution 265: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for air attacks for Salt in Jordan". * Resolution 267: " . . . 'censures' Israel for administrative acts to change the status of Jerusalem". *
Resolution 270: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for air attacks on villages in southern Lebanon". *
Resolution 271: " . . . 'condemns' Israel's failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem". *
Resolution 279: " . . . 'demands' withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon". * Resolution 280: " . . . 'condemns' Israeli's attacks against Lebanon". *
Resolution 285: " . . . 'demands' immediate Israeli withdrawal form Lebanon". * Resolution 298: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's changing of the status of Jerusalem". * Resolution 313: " . . . 'demands' that Israel stop attacks against Lebanon". * Resolution 316: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for repeated attacks on Lebanon". * Resolution 317: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's refusal to release Arabs abducted in Lebanon". *
Resolution 332: " . . . 'condemns' Israel's repeated attacks against Lebanon". * Resolution 337: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for violating Lebanon's sovereignty". * Resolution 347: " . . . 'condemns' Israeli attacks on Lebanon". *
Resolution 425: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon". * Resolution 427: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to complete its withdrawal from Lebanon. * Resolution 444: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's lack of cooperation with UN peacekeeping forces". *
Resolution 446: " . . . 'determines' that Israeli settlements are a 'serious obstruction' to peace and calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention". *
Resolution 450: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to stop attacking Lebanon". *
Resolution 452: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to cease building settlements in occupied territories". *
Resolution 465: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's settlements and asks all member states not to assist Israel's settlements program". *
Resolution 467: " . . . 'strongly deplores' Israel's military intervention in Lebanon". * Resolution 468: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to rescind illegal expulsions of two Palestinian mayors and a judge and to facilitate their return". *
Resolution 469: " . . . 'strongly deplores' Israel's failure to observe the council's order not to deport Palestinians". *
Resolution 471: " . . . 'expresses deep concern' at Israel's failure to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention". *
Resolution 476: " . . . 'reiterates' that Israel's claim to Jerusalem are 'null and void'". * Resolution 478: " . . . 'censures (Israel) in the strongest terms' for its claim to Jerusalem in its 'Basic Law'". *
Resolution 484: " . . . 'declares it imperative' that Israel re- admit two deported Palestinian mayors". *
Resolution 487: " . . . 'strongly condemns' Israel for its attack on Iraq's nuclear facility". *
Resolution 497: " . . . 'decides' that Israel's annexation of Syria's Golan Heights is 'null and void' and demands that Israel rescinds its decision forthwith". *
Resolution 498: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to withdraw from Lebanon". *
Resolution 501: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to stop attacks against Lebanon and withdraw its troops". *
Resolution 509: " . . . 'demands' that Israel withdraw its forces forthwith and unconditionally from Lebanon". *
Resolution 515: " . . . 'demands' that Israel lift its siege of Beirut and allow food supplies to be brought in". *
Resolution 517: " . . . 'censures' Israel for failing to obey UN resolutions and demands that Israel withdraw its forces from Lebanon". *
Resolution 518: " . . . 'demands' that Israel cooperate fully with UN forces in Lebanon". *
Resolution 520: " . . . 'condemns' Israel's attack into West Beirut". *
Resolution 573: " . . . 'condemns' Israel 'vigorously' for bombing Tunisia in attack on PLO headquarters. *
Resolution 587: " . . . 'takes note' of previous calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon and urges all parties to withdraw". *
Resolution 592: " . . . 'strongly deplores' the killing of Palestinian students at Bir Zeit University by Israeli troops". *
Resolution 605: " . . . 'strongly deplores' Israel's policies and practices denying the human rights of Palestinians. *
Resolution 607: " . . . 'calls' on Israel not to deport Palestinians and strongly requests it to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention. *
Resolution 608: " . . . 'deeply regrets' that Israel has defied the United Nations and deported Palestinian civilians". *
Resolution 636: " . . . 'deeply regrets' Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians. * Resolution 641: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's continuing deportation of Palestinians. * Resolution 672: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for violence against Palestinians at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. *
Resolution 673: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's refusal to cooperate with the United Nations. Resolution 681: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's resumption of the deportation of Palestinians. * Resolution 694: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's deportation of Palestinians and calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return. *
Resolution 726: " . . . 'strongly condemns' Israel's deportation of Palestinians. * Resolution 799: ". . . 'strongly condemns' Israel's deportation of 413 Palestinians and calls for there immediate return.

1993 to 1995UNGA Res 50/21 - The Middle East Peace Process (Dec 12, 1995) UNGA Res 50/22 - The Situation in the Middle East (Dec 12, 1995) UNGA Res 49/35 - Assistance to Palestinian Refugees (Jan 30 1995) lUNGA Res 49/36 - Human Rights of Palestinian Refugees (Jan 30 1995) UNGA Res 49/62 - Question of Palestine (Feb 3 1995) UNGA Res 49/78 - Nuclear Proliferation in Mideast (Jan 11 1995) UNGA Res 49/87 - Situation in the Middle East (Feb 7 1995) UNGA Res 49/88 - The Middle East Peace Process (Feb 7 1995) UNGA Res 49/149- Palestinian Right- Self-Determination (Feb 7 1995) UNGA Res 48/213 - Assistance to Palestinian Refugees (Mar 15, 1994) UNGA Res 48/40 - UNRWA for Palestinian Refugees (Dec 13, 1993) UNGA Res 48/41 - Human Rights in the Territories (Dec 10 1993) UNGA Res 48/58 - The Middle East Peace Process (Dec 14 1993) UNGA Res 48/59 - The Situation in the Middle East (Dec 14 1993) UNGA Res 48/71 - Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Mideast (Dec 16 1993) UNGA Res 48/78 - Israeli Nuclear Armament (Dec 16 1993) UNGA Res 48/94 - Self-Determination & Independence (Dec 20 1993) UNGA Res 48/124- Non-interference in Elections (Dec 20 1993) UNGA Res 48/158- Question of Palestine (Dec 20 1993) UNGA Res 48/212- Repercussions of Israeli Settlements (Dec 21 1993) ==========+++===========

U.S. Vetoes of UN Resolutions Critical of Israel (1972-2002)
---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------
Vetoes: 1972-1982

Subject Date & Meeting US Rep Casting Veto Vote Palestine: Syrian-Lebanese Complaint. 3 power draft resolution 2/10784 9/10/1972 Bush 13-1, 1 Palestine: Examination of Middle East Situation. 8-power draft resolution (S/10974) 7/2/1973 Scali 13-1, 0 (China not partic.) Palestine: Egyptian-Lebanese Complaint. 5-power draft power resolution (S/11898) 12/8/1975 Moynihan 13-1, 1 Palestine: Middle East Problem, including Palestinian question. 6- power draft resolution (S/11940) 1/26/1976 Moynihan 9-1,3 (China & Libya not partic.) Palestine: Situation in Occupied Arab Territories. 5-power draft resolution (S/12022) 3/25/1976 Scranton 14-1,0 Palestine: Report on Committee on Rights of Palestinian People. 4- power draft resolution (S/121119) 6/29/1976 Sherer 10-1,4 Palestine: Palestinian Rights. Tunisian draft resolution. (S/13911) 4/30/1980 McHenry 10-1,4 Palestine: Golan Heights. Jordan draft resolution. (S/14832/Rev. 2) 1/20/1982 Kirkpatrick 9-1,5 Palestine: Situation in Occupied Territories, Jordan draft resolution (S/14943) 4/2/1982 Lichenstein 13-1,1 Palestine: Incident at the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. 4-power draft resolution 4/20/1982 Kirpatrick 14-1, 0 Palestine: Conflict in Lebanon. Spain draft resolution. (S/15185) 6/8/1982 Kirpatrick 14-1,0 Palestine: Conflict in Lebanon. France draft resolution. (S/15255/Rev. 2) 6/26/1982 Lichenstein 14-1 Palestine: Conflict in Lebanon. USSR draft resolution. (S/15347/Rev. 1, as orally amended) 8/6/1982 Lichenstein 11-1,3 Palestine: Situation in Occupied Territories, 20-power draft resolution (S/15895) 8/2/1983 Lichenstein 13-1,1 Security Council Vetoes/Negative voting 1983-present Subject Date Vote Occupied Arab Territories: Wholesale condemnation of Israeli settlement policies - not adopted 1983 S. Lebanon: Condemns Israeli action in southern Lebanon. S/16732 9/6/1984 Vetoed: 13-1 (U.S.), with 1 abstention (UK) Occupied Territories: Deplores "repressive measures" by Israel against Arab population. S/19459. 9/13/1985 Vetoed: 10-1 (U.S.), with 4 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, UK, France) Lebanon: Condemns Israeli practices against civilians in southern Lebanon. S/17000. 3/12/1985 Vetoed: 11-1 (U.S.), with 3 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, UK) Occupied Territories: Calls upon Israel to respect Muslim holy places. S/17769/Rev. 1 1/30/1986 Vetoed: 13-1 (US), with one abstention (Thailand) Lebanon: Condemns Israeli practices against civilians in southern Lebanon. S/17730/Rev. 2. 1/17/1986 Vetoed: 11-1 (U.S.), with 3 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, UK) Libya/Israel: Condemns Israeli interception of Libyan plane. S/17796/Rev. 1. 2/6/1986 Vetoed: 10 -1 (US), with 4 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, France, UK) Lebanon: Draft strongly deplored repeated Israeli attacks against Lebanese territory and other measures and practices against the civilian population; (S/19434) 1/18/1988 vetoed 13-1 (US), with 1 abstention (UK) Lebanon: Draft condemned recent invasion by Israeli forces of Southern Lebanon and repeated a call for the immediate withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Lebanese territory; (S/19868) 5/10/1988 vetoed 14-1 (US) Lebanon: Draft strongly deplored the recent Israeli attack against Lebanese territory on 9 December 1988; (S/20322) 12/14/1988 vetoed 14-1 (US) Occupied territories: Draft called on Israel to accept de jure applicability of the 4th Geneva Convention; (S/19466) 1988 vetoed 14-1 (US) Occupied territories: Draft urged Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention, rescind the order to deport Palestinian civilians, and condemned policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories; (S/19780) 1988 vetoed 14-1 (US) Occupied territories: Strongly deplored Israeli policies and practices in the occupied territories, and strongly deplored also Israel's continued disregard of relevant Security Council decisions. 2/17/1989 Vetoed 14-1 (US) Occupied territories: Condemned Israeli policies and practices in the occupied territories. 6/9/1989 Vetoed 14-1 (US) Occupied territories: Deplored Israel's policies and practices in the occupied territories. 11/7/1989 Vetoed 14-1 (US) Occupied territories: NAM draft resolution to create a commission and send three security council members to Rishon Lezion, where an Israeli gunmen shot down seven Palestinian workers. 5/31/1990 Vetoed 14-1 (US) Middle East: Confirms that the expropriation of land by Israel in East Jerusalem is invalid and in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions and provisions of the Fourth Geneva convention; expresses support of peace process, including the Declaration of Principles of 9/13/1993 5/17/1995 Vetoed 14-1 (US) Middle East: Calls upon Israeli authorities to refrain from all actions or measures, including settlement activities. 3/7/1997 Vetoed 14-1 (US) Middle East: Demands that Israel cease construction of the settlement in east Jerusalem (called Jabal Abu Ghneim by the Palestinians and Har Homa by Israel), as well as all the other Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories 3/21/1997 Vetoed 13-1,1 (US) Call for UN Observers Force in West Bank, Gaza 3/27/2001 Vetoed 9-1 (US), with four abstentions (Britain, France, Ireland and Norway) Condemned acts of terror, demanded an end to violence and the establishment of a monitoring mechanism to bring in observers. 12/15/2001 Vetoed 12-1 (US) with two abstentions (Britain and Norway) Source: U.S. State Department

07/07/2006 - One of the many Palestine children massacred in Gaza by US weapons and Israeli occupying military.


Israeli soldiers pose in front of their 'trophy', dead Palestinian



Gaza: The Auschwitz of our time



Khalil Hamra
Water mixes with blood in a street of the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun in this Nov. 8, 2006 file photo. Israeli tank shells landed in a residential neighborhood, killing at least 18 people in their sleep, including eight children, according to witnesses and hospital officials.




Israeli Defense Ministry Guards Shooting at Journalists 21 May, 2007


April 17, 2008

Video: final footage of Reuters journalist killed in Gaza


(Warning: the video footage above contains images of a graphic nature)

The editor-in-chief of Reuters demanded that Israel launches a "thorough and immediate investigation" into the killing of one of its cameramen in the Gaza Strip yesterday (David Byers writes).

Footage of Fadel Shana, 23, being killed by a tank shell in the Gaza Strip has been released by the news agency, which said that the cameraman was hit despite clear markings that showed him to be a journalist.

After medical examinations of Shana's body, Reuters said that Israel had used a controversial type of tank shell which scatters metal darts, or flechettes, around the surrounding area after exploding, risking civilian casualties. Israel refused to comment on the report, but stated that the weapons were not illegal.

Footage released by Reuters shows Mr Shana filming a tank positioned a few hundred yards away in the distance, over the Israeli border.

The film shows a tank firing its shell, which explodes causing the picture to go blank as the camera is thrown from Mr Shana's hand.

It then cuts away to a film made by another cameraman positioned nearby, which shows the devastation left by the shell, including two youths who had been passing the scene lying dead in the road.

Mr Shana, who was from Gaza and had covered the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians for the last three years, died instantly. He had been covering events in Gaza for Reuters on a day of intense violence when 16 other Palestinians and three Israeli soldiers were also killed.

In a highly unusual appeal to camera after the footage of his death, David Schlesinger, editor-in-chief of Reuters News, appealed for Israel to launch an investigation into the incident

Real Videos: IDF shooting journalists Video Sep 26, 2006 Part 2 Part 3

It was 1947 and I wasn't quite 18 when the Iraqi authorities caught me for smuggling young Iraqi Jews like myself out of Iraq, into Iran, and then on to the Promised Land of the soon-to-be established Israel.

I was an Iraqi Jew in the Zionist underground. My Iraqi jailers did everything they could to extract the names of my co-conspirators. Fifty years later, pain still throbs in my right toe-a reminder of the day my captors used pliers to remove my toenails. On another occasion, they hauled me to the flat roof of the prison, stripped me bare on a frigid January day, then threw a bucket of cold water over me. I was left there, chained to the railing, for hours. But I never once considered giving them the information they wanted. I was a true believer.

My preoccupation during what I refer to as my "two years in hell" was with survival and escape. I had no interest then in the broad sweep of Jewish history in Iraq even though my family had been part of it right from the beginning. We were originally Haroons, a large and important family of the "Babylonian Diaspora." My ancestors had settled in Iraq more than 2,600 years ago-600 years before Christianity, and 1,200 years before Islam. I am descended from Jews who built the tomb of Yehezkel, a Jewish prophet of pre-biblical times. My town, where I was born in 1929, is Hillah, not far from the ancient site of Babylon.

The original Jews found Babylon, with its nourishing Tigris and Euphrates rivers, to be truly a land of milk, honey, abundance-and opportunity. Although Jews, like other minorities in what became Iraq, experienced periods of oppression and discrimination depending on the rulers of the period, their general trajectory over two and one-half millennia was upward. Under the late Ottoman rule, for example, Jewish social and religious institutions, schools, and medical facilities flourished without outside interference, and Jews were prominent in government and business.

As I sat there in my cell, unaware that a death sentence soon would be handed down against me, I could not have recounted any personal grievances that my family members would have lodged against the government or the Muslim majority. Our family had been treated well and had prospered, first as farmers with some 50,000 acres devoted to rice, dates and Arab horses. Then, with the Ottomans, we bought and purified gold that was shipped to Istanbul and turned into coinage. The Turks were responsible in fact for changing our name to reflect our occupation-we became Khalaschi, meaning "Makers of Pure."

I did not volunteer the information to my father that I had joined the Zionist underground. He found out several months before I was arrested when he saw me writing Hebrew and using words and expressions unfamiliar to him. He was even more surprised to learn that, yes, I had decided I would soon move to Israel myself. He was scornful. "You'll come back with your tail between your legs," he predicted.

About 125,000 Jews left Iraq for Israel in the late 1940s and into 1952, most because they had been lied to and put into a panic by what I came to learn were Zionist bombs. But my mother and father were among the 6,000 who did not go to Israel. Although physically I never did return to Iraq-that bridge had been burned in any event-my heart has made the journey there many, many times. My father had it right.

About 125,000 Jews left Iraq for Israel in the late 1940s and into 1952, most because they had been lied to and put into a panic by what I came to learn were Zionist bombs.

I was imprisoned at the military camp of Abu-Greib, about 7 miles from Baghdad. When the military court handed down my sentence of death by hanging, I had nothing to lose by attempting the escape I had been planning for many months.

It was a strange recipe for an escape: a dab of butter, an orange peel, and some army clothing that I had asked a friend to buy for me at a flea market. I deliberately ate as much bread as I could to put on fat in anticipation of the day I became 18, when they could formally charge me with a crime and attach the 50-pound ball and chain that was standard prisoner issue.

Later, after my leg had been shackled, I went on a starvation diet that often left me weak-kneed. The pat of butter was to lubricate my leg in preparation for extricating it from the metal band. The orange peel I surreptitiously stuck into the lock on the night of my planned escape, having studied how it could be placed in such a way as to keep the lock from closing.

As the jailers turned to go after locking up, I put on the old army issue that was indistinguishable from what they were wearing-a long, green coat and a stocking cap that I pulled down over much of my face (it was winter). Then I just quietly opened the door and joined the departing group of soldiers as they strode down the hall and outside, and I offered a "good night" to the shift guard as I left. A friend with a car was waiting to speed me away.

Naeim Giladi in 1947

Later I made my way to the new state of Israel, arriving in May, 1950. My passport had my name in Arabic and English, but the English couldn't capture the "kh" sound, so it was rendered simply as Klaski. At the border, the immigration people applied the English version, which had an Eastern European, Ashkenazi ring to it. In one way, this "mistake" was my key to discovering very soon just how the Israeli caste system worked.

They asked me where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. I was the son of a farmer; I knew all the problems of the farm, so I volunteered to go to Dafnah, a farming kibbutz in the high Galilee. I only lasted a few weeks. The new immigrants were given the worst of everything. The food was the same, but that was the only thing that everyone had in common. For the immigrants, bad cigarettes, even bad toothpaste. Everything. I left.

Then, through the Jewish Agency, I was advised to go to al-Majdal (later renamed Ashkelon), an Arab town about 9 miles from Gaza, very close to the Mediterranean. The Israeli government planned to turn it into a farmers' city, so my farm background would be an asset there.

When I reported to the Labor Office in al-Majdal, they saw that I could read and write Arabic and Hebrew and they said that I could find a good-paying job with the Military Governor's office. The Arabs were under the authority of these Israeli Military Governors. A clerk handed me a bunch of forms in Arabic and Hebrew. Now it dawned on me. Before Israel could establish its farmers' city, it had to rid al-Majdal of its indigenous Palestinians. The forms were petitions to the United Nations Inspectors asking for transfer out of Israel to Gaza, which was under Egyptian control.

I read over the petition. In signing, the Palestinian would be saying that he was of sound mind and body and was making the request for transfer free of pressure or duress. Of course, there was no way that they would leave without being pressured to do so. These families had been there hundreds of years, as farmers, primitive artisans, weavers. The Military Governor prohibited them from pursuing their livelihoods, just penned them up until they lost hope of resuming their normal lives. That's when they signed to leave.

I was there and heard their grief. "Our hearts are in pain when we look at the orange trees that we planted with our own hands. Please let us go, let us give water to those trees. God will not be pleased with us if we leave His trees untended." I asked the Military Governor to give them relief, but he said, "No, we want them to leave."

I could no longer be part of this oppression and I left. Those Palestinians who didn't sign up for transfers were taken by force-just put in trucks and dumped in Gaza. About four thousand people were driven from al-Majdal in one way or another. The few who remained were collaborators with the Israeli authorities.

Subsequently, I wrote letters trying to get a government job elsewhere and I got many immediate responses asking me to come for an interview. Then they would discover that my face didn't match my Polish/Ashkenazi name. They would ask if I spoke Yiddish or Polish, and when I said I didn't, they would ask where I came by a Polish name. Desperate for a good job, I would usually say that I thought my great-grandfather was from Poland. I was advised time and again that "we'll give you a call."

Eventually, three to four years after coming to Israel, I changed my name to Giladi, which is close to the code name, Gilad, that I had in the Zionist underground. Klaski wasn't doing me any good anyway, and my Eastern friends were always chiding me about the name they knew didn't go with my origins as an Iraqi Jew.

I was disillusioned at what I found in the Promised Land, disillusioned personally, disillusioned at the institutionalized racism, disillusioned at what I was beginning to learn about Zionism's cruelties. The principal interest Israel had in Jews from Islamic countries was as a supply of cheap labor, especially for the farm work that was beneath the urbanized Eastern European Jews. Ben Gurion needed the "Oriental" Jews to farm the thousands of acres of land left by Palestinians who were driven out by Israeli forces in 1948.

And I began to find out about the barbaric methods used to rid the fledgling state of as many Palestinians as possible. The world recoils today at the thought of bacteriological warfare, but Israel was probably the first to actually use it in the Middle East. In the 1948 war, Jewish forces would empty Arab villages of their populations, often by threats, sometimes by just gunning down a half-dozen unarmed Arabs as examples to the rest. To make sure the Arabs couldn't return to make a fresh life for themselves in these villages, the Israelis put typhus and dysentery bacteria into the water wells.

Uri Mileshtin, an official historian for the Israeli Defense Force, has written and spoken about the use of bacteriological agents[1]. According to Mileshtin, Moshe Dayan, a division commander at the time, gave orders in 1948 to remove Arabs from their villages, bulldoze their homes, and render water wells unusable with typhus and dysentery bacteria.

Bacteriological Warfare

The Haganah put typhus bacteria into the water going to Acre, the people got sick, and the Jewish forces occupied Acre. This worked so well that they sent a Haganah division dressed as Arabs into Gaza, where there were Egyptian forces, and the Egyptians caught them putting two cans of bacteria, typhus and dysentery, into the water supply in wanton disregard of the civilian population.

Acre was so situated that it could practically defend itself with one big gun, so the Haganah put bacteria into the spring that fed the town. The spring was called Capri and it ran from the north near a kibbutz. The Haganah put typhus bacteria into the water going to Acre, the people got sick, and the Jewish forces occupied Acre. This worked so well that they sent a Haganah division dressed as Arabs into Gaza, where there were Egyptian forces, and the Egyptians caught them putting two cans of bacteria, typhus and dysentery, into the water supply in wanton disregard of the civilian population. "In war, there is no sentiment," one of the captured Haganah men was quoted as saying.

My activism in Israel began shortly after I received a letter from the Socialist/Zionist Party asking me to help with their Arabic newspaper. When I showed up at their offices at Central House in Tel Aviv, I asked around to see just where I should report. I showed the letter to a couple of people there and, without even looking at it, they would motion me away with the words, "Room No. 8." When I saw that they weren't even reading the letter, I inquired of several others. But the response was the same, "Room No. 8," with not a glance at the paper I put in front of them.

So I went to Room 8 and saw that it was the Department of Jews from Islamic Countries. I was disgusted and angry. Either I am a member of the party or I'm not. Do I have a different ideology or different politics because I am an Arab Jew? It's segregation, I thought, just like a Negroes' Department. I turned around and walked out. That was the start of my open protests. That same year I organized a demonstration in Ashkelon against Ben Gurion's racist policies and 10,000 people turned out.

There wasn't much opportunity for those of us who were second class citizens to do much about it when Israel was on a war footing with outside enemies. After the 1967 war, I was in the Army myself and served in the Sinai when there was continued fighting along the Suez Canal. But the cease-fire with Egypt in 1970 gave us our opening. We took to the streets and organized politically to demand equal rights. If it's our country, if we were expected to risk our lives in a border war, then we expected equal treatment.

We mounted the struggle so tenaciously and received so much publicity that the Israeli government tried to discredit our movement by calling us "Israel's Black Panthers." They were thinking in racist terms, really, in assuming the Israeli public would reject an organization whose ideology was being compared to that of radical blacks in the United States. But we saw that what we were doing was no different than what blacks in the United States were fighting against-segregation, discrimination, unequal treatment. Rather than reject the label, we adopted it proudly. I had posters of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela and other civil rights activists plastered all over my office.

With the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the Israeli-condoned Sabra and Shatilla massacres, I had had enough of Israel. I became a United States citizen and made certain to revoke my Israeli citizenship. I could never have written and published my book in Israel, not with the censorship they would impose.

Even in America, I had great difficulty finding a publisher because many are subject to pressures of one kind or another from Israel and its friends. I ended up paying $60,000 from my own pocket to publish Ben Gurion's Scandals: How the Haganah & the Mossad Eliminated Jews, virtually the entire proceeds from having sold my house in Israel.


I still was afraid that the printer would back out or that legal proceedings would be initiated to stop its publication, like the Israeli government did in an attempt to prevent former Mossad case officer Victor Ostrovsky from publishing his first book[2]. Ben Gurion's Scandals had to be translated into English from two languages. I wrote in Hebrew when I was in Israel and hoped to publish the book there, and I wrote in Arabic when I was completing the book after coming to the U.S. But I was so worried that something would stop publication that I told the printer not to wait for the translations to be thoroughly checked and proofread. Now I realize that the publicity of a lawsuit would just have created a controversial interest in the book.

I am using bank vault storage for the valuable documents that back up what I have written. These documents, including some that I illegally copied from the archives at Yad Vashem, confirm what I saw myself, what I was told by other witnesses, and what reputable historians and others have written concerning the Zionist bombings in Iraq, Arab peace overtures that were rebuffed, and incidents of violence and death inflicted by Jews on Jews in the cause of creating Israel.


If, as I have said, my family in Iraq was not persecuted personally and I knew no deprivation as a member of the Jewish minority, what led me to the steps of the gallows as a member of the Zionist underground? To answer that question, it is necessary to establish the context of the massacre that occurred in Baghdad on June 1, 1941, when several hundred Iraqi Jews were killed in riots involving junior officers of the Iraqi army. I was 12 years of age and many of those killed were my friends. I was angry, and very confused.

What I didn't know at the time was that the riots most likely were stirred up by the British, in collusion with a pro-British Iraqi leadership.

With the breakup of the Ottoman Empire following WW I, Iraq came under British "tutelage." Amir Faisal, son of Sharif Hussein who had led the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman sultan, was brought in from Mecca by the British to become King of Iraq in 1921. Many Jews were appointed to key administrative posts, including that of economics minister. Britain retained final authority over domestic and external affairs.

Britain's pro-Zionist attitude in Palestine, however, triggered a growing anti-Zionist backlash in Iraq, as it did in all Arab countries. Writing at the end of 1934, Sir Francis Humphreys, Britain's Ambassador in Baghdad, noted that, while before WW I Iraqi Jews had enjoyed a more favorable position than any other minority in the country, since then "Zionism has sown dissension between Jews and Arabs, and a bitterness has grown up between the two peoples which did not previously exist."[3]

King Faisal died in 1933. He was succeeded by his son Ghazi, who died in a motor car accident in 1939. The crown then passed to Ghazi's 4-year-old son, Faisal II, whose uncle, Abd al-Ilah, was named regent. Abd al-Ilah selected Nouri el-Said as prime minister. El-Said supported the British and, as hatred of the British grew, he was forced from office in March 1940 by four senior army officers who advocated Iraq's independence from Britain. Calling themselves the Golden Square, the officers compelled the regent to name as prime minister Rashid Ali al-Kilani, leader of the National Brotherhood party.

The time was 1940 and Britain was reeling from a strong German offensive. Al-Kilani and the Golden Square saw this as their opportunity to rid themselves of the British once and for all. Cautiously they began to negotiate for German support, which led the pro-British regent Abd al-Ilah to dismiss al-Kilani in January 1941. By April, however, the Golden Square officers had reinstated the prime minister.

This provoked the British to send a military force into Basra on April 12, 1941. Basra, Iraq's second largest city, had a Jewish population of 30,000. Most of these Jews made their livings from import/export, money changing, retailing, as workers in the airports, railways, and ports, or as senior government employees.

On the same day, April 12, supporters of the pro-British regent notified the Jewish leaders that the regent wanted to meet with them. As was their custom, the leaders brought flowers for the regent. Contrary to custom, however, the cars that drove them to the meeting place dropped them off at the site where the British soldiers were concentrated.

Photographs of the Jews appeared in the following day's newspapers with the banner "Basra Jews Receive British Troops with Flowers." That same day, April 13, groups of angry Arab youths set about to take revenge against the Jews. Several Muslim notables in Basra heard of the plan and calmed things down. Later, it was learned that the regent was not in Basra at all and that the matter was a provocation by his pro-British supporters to bring about an ethnic war in order to give the British army a pretext to intervene.

The British continued to land more forces in and around Basra. On May 7, 1941, their Gurkha unit, composed of Indian soldiers from that ethnic group, occupied Basra's el-Oshar quarter, a neighborhood with a large Jewish population. The soldiers, led by British officers, began looting. Many shops in the commercial district were plundered. Private homes were broken into. Cases of attempted rape were reported. Local residents, Jews and Muslims, responded with pistols and old rifles, but their bullets were no match for the soldiers' Tommy Guns.

Afterwards, it was learned that the soldiers acted with the acquiescence, if not the blessing, of their British commanders. (It should be remembered that the Indian soldiers, especially those of the Gurkha unit, were known for their discipline, and it is highly unlikely they would have acted so riotously without orders.) The British goal clearly was to create chaos and to blacken the image of the pro-nationalist regime in Baghdad, thereby giving the British forces reason to proceed to the capital and to overthrow the al-Kilani government.

Baghdad fell on May 30. Al-Kilani fled to Iran, along with the Golden Square officers. Radio stations run by the British reported that Regent Abd al-Ilah would be returning to the city and that thousands of Jews and others were planning to welcome him. What inflamed young Iraqis against the Jews most, however, was the radio announcer Yunas Bahri on the German station "Berlin," who reported in Arabic that Jews from Palestine were fighting alongside the British against Iraqi soldiers near the city of Faluja. The report was false.

On Sunday, June 1, unarmed fighting broke out in Baghdad between Jews who were still celebrating their Shabuoth holiday and young Iraqis who thought the Jews were celebrating the return of the pro-British regent. That evening, a group of Iraqis stopped a bus, removed the Jewish passengers, murdered one and fatally wounded a second.

About 8:30 the following morning, some 30 individuals in military and police uniforms opened fire along el-Amin street, a small downtown street whose jewelry, tailor and grocery shops were Jewish-owned. By 11 a.m., mobs of Iraqis with knives, switchblades and clubs were attacking Jewish homes in the area.

The riots continued throughout Monday, June 2. During this time, many Muslims rose to defend their Jewish neighbors, while some Jews successfully defended themselves. There were 124 killed and 400 injured, according to a report written by a Jewish Agency messenger who was in Iraq at the time. Other estimates, possibly less reliable, put the death toll higher, as many as 500, with from 650 to 2,000 injured. From 500 to 1,300 stores and more than 1,000 homes and apartments were looted.

Who was behind the rioting in the Jewish quarter? Yosef Meir, one of the most prominent activists in the Zionist underground movement in Iraq, known then as Yehoshafat, claims it was the British. Meir, who now works for the Israeli Defense Ministry, argues that, in order to make it appear that the regent was returning as the savior who would reestablish law and order, the British stirred up the riots against the most vulnerable and visible segment in the city, the Jews. And, not surprisingly, the riots ended as soon as the regent's loyal soldiers entered the capital.[4]

My own investigations as a journalist lead me to believe Meir is correct. Furthermore, I think his claims should be seen as based on documents in the archives of the Israeli Defense Ministry, the agency that published his book. Yet, even before his book came out, I had independent confirmation from a man I met in Iran in the late Forties.

His name was Michael Timosian, an Iraqi Armenian. When I met him he was working as a male nurse at the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in Abadan in the south of Iran. On June 2, 1941, however, he was working at the Baghdad hospital where many of the riot victims were brought. Most of these victims were Jews.

Timosian said he was particularly interested in two patients whose conduct did not follow local custom. One had been hit by a bullet in his shoulder, the other by a bullet in his right knee. After the doctor removed the bullets, the staff tried to change their blood-soaked cloths. But the two men fought off their efforts, pretending to be speechless, although tests showed they could hear. To pacify them, the doctor injected them with anesthetics and, as they were sleeping, Timosian changed their cloths. He discovered that one of them had around his neck an identification tag of the type used by British troops, while the other had tattoos with Indian script on his right arm along with the familiar sword of the Gurkha.

The next day when Timosian showed up for work, he was told that a British officer, his sergeant and two Indian Gurkha soldiers had come to the hospital early that morning. Staff members overheard the Gurkha soldiers talking with the wounded patients, who were not as dumb as they had pretended. The patients saluted the visitors, covered themselves with sheets and, without signing the required release forms, left the hospital with their visitors.

Today there is no doubt in my mind that the anti-Jewish riots of 1941 were orchestrated by the British for geopolitical ends. David Kimche is certainly a man who was in a position to know the truth, and he has spoken publicly about British culpability. Kimche had been with British Intelligence during WW II and with the Mossad after the war. Later he became Director General of Israel's Foreign Ministry, the position he held in 1982 when he addressed a forum at the British Institute for International Affairs in London.

In responding to hostile questions about Israel's invasion of Lebanon and the refugee camp massacres in Beirut, Kimche went on the attack, reminding the audience that there was scant concern in the British Foreign Office when British Gurkha units participated in the murder of 500 Jews in the streets of Baghdad in 1941.[5]

THE BOMBING OF 1950-1951

The anti-Jewish riots of 1941 did more than create a pretext for the British to enter Baghdad to reinstate the pro-British regent and his pro-British prime minister, Nouri el-Said. They also gave the Zionists in Palestine a pretext to set up a Zionist underground in Iraq, first in Baghdad, then in other cities such as Basra, Amara, Hillah, Diwaneia, Abril and Karkouk.

Following WW II, a succession of governments held brief power in Iraq. Zionist conquests in Palestine, particularly the massacre of Palestinians in the village of Deir Yassin, emboldened the anti-British movement in Iraq. When the Iraqi government signed a new treaty of friendship with London in January 1948, riots broke out all over the country. The treaty was quickly abandoned and Baghdad demanded removal of the British military mission that had run Iraq's army for 27 years.

Later in 1948, Baghdad sent an army detachment to Palestine to fight the Zionists, and when Israel declared independence in May, Iraq closed the pipeline that fed its oil to Haifa's refinery. Abd al-Ilah, however, was still regent and the British quisling, Nouri el-Said, was back as prime minister. I was in the Abu-Greib prison in 1948, where I would remain until my escape to Iran in September 1949.

Six months later-the exact date was March 19, 1950-a bomb went off at the American Cultural Center and Library in Baghdad, causing property damage and injuring a number of people. The center was a favorite meeting place for young Jews.

The first bomb thrown directly at Jews occurred on April 8, 1950, at 9:15 p.m. A car with three young passengers hurled the grenade at Baghdad's El-Dar El-Bida Café, where Jews were celebrating Passover. Four people were seriously injured. That night leaflets were distributed calling on Jews to leave Iraq immediately.

The next day, many Jews, most of them poor with nothing to lose, jammed emigration offices to renounce their citizenship and to apply for permission to leave for Israel. So many applied, in fact, that the police had to open registration offices in Jewish schools and synagogues.

On May 10, at 3 a.m., a grenade was tossed in the direction of the display window of the Jewish-owned Beit-Lawi Automobile Company, destroying part of the building. No casualties were reported.

On June 3, 1950, another grenade was tossed from a speeding car in the El-Batawin area of Baghdad where most rich Jews and middle class Iraqis lived. No one was hurt, but following the explosion Zionist activists sent telegrams to Israel requesting that the quota for immigration from Iraq be increased.

On June 5, at 2:30 a.m., a bomb exploded next to the Jewish owned Stanley Shashua building on El-Rashid street, resulting in property damage but no casualties.

On January 14, 1951, at 7 p.m., a grenade was thrown at a group of Jews outside the Masouda Shem-Tov Synagogue. The explosive struck a high-voltage cable, electrocuting three Jews, one a young boy, Itzhak Elmacher, and wounding over 30 others. Following the attack, the exodus of Jews jumped to between 600-700 per day.

Zionist propagandists still maintain that the bombs in Iraq were set off by anti-Jewish Iraqis who wanted Jews out of their country. The terrible truth is that the grenades that killed and maimed Iraqi Jews and damaged their property were thrown by Zionist Jews.

Among the most important documents in my book, I believe, are copies of two leaflets published by the Zionist underground calling on Jews to leave Iraq. One is dated March 16, 1950, the other April 8, 1950.

The terrible truth is that the grenades that killed and maimed Iraqi Jews and damaged their property were thrown by Zionist Jews.

The difference between these two is critical. Both indicate the date of publication, but only the April 8th leaflet notes the time of day: 4 p.m. Why the time of day? Such a specification was unprecedented. Even the investigating judge, Salaman El-Beit, found it suspicious. Did the 4 p.m. writers want an alibi for a bombing they knew would occur five hours later? If so, how did they know about the bombing? The judge concluded they knew because a connection existed between the Zionist underground and the bomb throwers.

This, too, was the conclusion of Wilbur Crane Eveland, a former senior officer in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), whom I had the opportunity to meet in New York in 1988. In his book, Ropes of Sand, whose publication the CIA opposed, Eveland writes:

In attempts to portray the Iraqis as anti-American and to terrorize the Jews, the Zionists planted bombs in the U.S. Information Service library and in synagogues. Soon leaflets began to appear urging Jews to flee to Israel. . . .

Although the Iraqi police later provided our embassy with evidence to show that the synagogue and library bombings, as well as the anti-Jewish and anti-American leaflet campaigns, had been the work of an underground Zionist organization, most of the world believed reports that Arab terrorism had motivated the flight of the Iraqi Jews whom the Zionists had "rescued" really just in order to increase Israel's Jewish population."[6]

Eveland doesn't detail the evidence linking the Zionists to the attacks, but in my book I do. In 1955, for example, I organized in Israel a panel of Jewish attorneys of Iraqi origin to handle claims of Iraqi Jews who still had property in Iraq. One well known attorney, who asked that I not give his name, confided in me that the laboratory tests in Iraq had confirmed that the anti-American leaflets found at the American Cultural Center bombing were typed on the same typewriter and duplicated on the same stenciling machine as the leaflets distributed by the Zionist movement just before the April 8th bombing.

Tests also showed that the type of explosive used in the Beit-Lawi attack matched traces of explosives found in the suitcase of an Iraqi Jew by the name of Yosef Basri. Basri, a lawyer, together with Shalom Salih, a shoemaker, would be put on trial for the attacks in December 1951 and executed the following month. Both men were members of Hashura, the military arm of the Zionist underground. Salih ultimately confessed that he, Basri and a third man, Yosef Habaza, carried out the attacks.

By the time of the executions in January 1952, all but 6,000 of an estimated 125,000 Iraqi Jews had fled to Israel. Moreover, the pro-British, pro-Zionist puppet el-Said saw to it that all of their possessions were frozen, including their cash assets. (There were ways of getting Iraqi dinars out, but when the immigrants went to exchange them in Israel they found that the Israeli government kept 50 percent of the value.) Even those Iraqi Jews who had not registered to emigrate, but who happened to be abroad, faced loss of their nationality if they didn't return within a specified time. An ancient, cultured, prosperous community had been uprooted and its people transplanted to a land dominated by East European Jews, whose culture was not only foreign but entirely hateful to them.



Zionist Leaders
From the start they knew that in order to establish a Jewish state they had to expel the indigenous Palestinian population to the neighboring Islamic states and import Jews from these same states.

Theodor Herzl, the architect of Zionism, thought it could be done by social engineering. In his diary entry for 12 June 1885, he wrote that Zionist settlers would have to "spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country."[7]

Vladimir Jabotinsky, Prime Minister Netanyahu's ideological progenitor, frankly admitted that such a transfer of populations could only be brought about by force.

David Ben Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, told a Zionist Conference in 1937 that any proposed Jewish state would have to "transfer Arab populations out of the area, if possible of their own free will, if not by coercion."[8] After 750,000 Palestinians were uprooted and their lands confiscated in 1948-49, Ben Gurion had to look to the Islamic countries for Jews who could fill the resultant cheap labor market. "Emissaries" were smuggled into these countries to "convince" Jews to leave either by trickery or fear.

In the case of Iraq, both methods were used: uneducated Jews were told of a Messianic Israel in which the blind see, the lame walk, and onions grow as big as melons; educated Jews had bombs thrown at them.

A few years after the bombings, in the early 1950s, a book was published in Iraq, in Arabic, titled Venom of the Zionist Viper. The author was one of the Iraqi investigators of the 1950-51 bombings and, in his book, he implicates the Israelis, specifically one of the emissaries sent by Israel, Mordechai Ben-Porat. As soon as the book came out, all copies just disappeared, even from libraries. The word was that agents of the Israeli Mossad, working through the U.S. Embassy, bought up all the books and destroyed them. I tried on three different occasions to have one sent to me in Israel, but each time Israeli censors in the post office intercepted it.

British Leaders.
Britain always acted in its best colonial interests. For that reason Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour sent his famous 1917 letter to Lord Rothschild in exchange for Zionist support in WW I. During WW II the British were primarily concerned with keeping their client states in the Western camp, while Zionists were most concerned with the immigration of European Jews to Palestine, even if this meant cooperating with the Nazis. (In my book I document numerous instances of such dealings by Ben Gurion and the Zionist leadership.)

After WW II the international chessboard pitted communists against capitalists. In many countries, including the United States and Iraq, Jews represented a large part of the Communist party. In Iraq, hundreds of Jews of the working intelligentsia occupied key positions in the hierarchy of the Communist and Socialist parties. To keep their client countries in the capitalist camp, Britain had to make sure these governments had pro-British leaders. And if, as in Iraq, these leaders were overthrown, then an anti-Jewish riot or two could prove a useful pretext to invade the capital and reinstate the "right" leaders.

Moreover, if the possibility existed of removing the communist influence from Iraq by transferring the whole Jewish community to Israel, well then, why not? Particularly if the leaders of Israel and Iraq conspired in the deed.

Britain had to make sure these governments had pro-British leaders. And if, as in Iraq, these leaders were overthrown, then an anti-Jewish riot or two could prove a useful pretext to invade the capital and reinstate the "right" leaders.

The Iraqi Leaders.
Both the regent Abd al-Ilah and his prime minister Nouri el- Said took directions from London. Toward the end of 1948, el-Said, who had already met with Israel's Prime Minister Ben Gurion in Vienna, began discussing with his Iraqi and British associates the need for an exchange of populations. Iraq would send the Jews in military trucks to Israel via Jordan, and Iraq would take in some of the Palestinians Israel had been evicting. His proposal included mutual confiscation of property. London nixed the idea as too radical.

El-Said then went to his back-up plan and began to create the conditions that would make the lives of Iraqi Jews so miserable they would leave for Israel. Jewish government employees were fired from their jobs; Jewish merchants were denied import/export licenses; police began to arrest Jews for trivial reasons. Still the Jews did not leave in any great numbers.

In September 1949, Israel sent the spy Mordechai Ben-Porat, the one mentioned in Venom of the Zionist Viper, to Iraq. One of the first things Ben-Porat did was to approach el-Said and promise him financial incentives to have a law enacted that would lift the citizenship of Iraqi Jews.

Soon after, Zionist and Iraqi representatives began formulating a rough draft of the bill, according to the model dictated by Israel through its agents in Baghdad. The bill was passed by the Iraqi parliament in March 1950. It empowered the government to issue one-time exit visas to Jews wishing to leave the country. In March, the bombings began.

Sixteen years later, the Israeli magazine Haolam Hazeh, published by Uri Avnery, then a Knesset member, accused Ben-Porat of the Baghdad bombings. Ben-Porat, who would become a Knesset member himself, denied the charge, but never sued the magazine for libel. And Iraqi Jews in Israel still call him Morad Abu al-Knabel, Mordechai of the Bombs.

In September 1949, Israel sent the spy Mordechai Ben-Porat to Iraq. One of the first things Ben-Porat did was to approach el-Said, the prime minister of Iraq, and promise him financial incentives to have a law enacted that would lift the citizenship of Iraqi Jews.

As I said, all this went well beyond the comprehension of a teenager. I knew Jews were being killed and an organization existed that could lead us to the Promised Land. So I helped in the exodus to Israel. Later, on occasions, I would bump into some of these Iraqi Jews in Israel. Not infrequently they'd express the sentiment that they could kill me for what I had done.


After the Israeli attack on the Jordanian village of Qibya in October, 1953, Ben Gurion went into voluntary exile at the Sedeh Boker kibbutz in the Negev. The Labor party then used to organize many buses for people to go visit him there, where they would see the former prime minister working with sheep. But that was only for show. Really he was writing his diary and continuing to be active behind the scenes. I went on such a tour.

We were told not to try to speak to Ben Gurion, but when I saw him, I asked why, since Israel is a democracy with a parliament, does it not have a constitution? Ben Gurion said, "Look, boy"-I was 24 at the time-"if we have a constitution, we have to write in it the border of our country. And this is not our border, my dear." I asked, "Then where is the border?" He said, "Wherever the Sahal will come, this is the border." Sahal is the Israeli army.

Ben Gurion told the world that Israel accepted the partition and the Arabs rejected it. Then Israel took half of the land that was promised to the Arab state. And still he was saying it was not enough. Israel needed more land. How can a country make peace with its neighbors if it wants to take their land? How can a country demand to be secure if it won't say what borders it will be satisfied with? For such a country, peace would be an inconvenience.

I know now that from the beginning many Arab leaders wanted to make peace with Israel, but Israel always refused. Ben Gurion covered this up with propaganda. He said that the Arabs wanted to drive Israel into the sea and he called Gamal Abdel Nasser the Hitler of the Middle East whose foremost intent was to destroy Israel. He wanted America and Great Britain to treat Nasser like a pariah.

I asked why, since Israel is a democracy with a parliament, does it not have a constitution?

Ben Gurion said, "Look, boy if we have a constitution, we have to write in it the border of our country. And this is not our border, my dear."

I asked, "Then where is the border?"

He said, "Wherever the Sahal will come, this is the border."

Sahal is the Israeli army.

In 1954, it seemed that America was getting less critical of Nasser. Then during a three-week period in July, several terrorist bombs were set off: at the United States Information Agency offices in Cairo and Alexandria, a British-owned theater, and the central post office in Cairo. An attempt to firebomb a cinema in Alexandria failed when the bomb went off in the pocket of one of the perpetrators. That led to the discovery that the terrorists were not anti-Western Egyptians, but were instead Israeli spies bent on souring the warming relationship between Egypt and the United States in what came to be known as the Lavon Affair.

Ben Gurion was still living on his kibbutz. Moshe Sharett as prime minister was in contact with Abdel Nasser through the offices of Lord Maurice Orbach of Great Britain. Sharett asked Nasser to be lenient with the captured spies, and Nasser did all that was in his power to prevent a deterioration of the situation between the two countries.

Then Ben Gurion returned as Defense Minister in February, 1955. Later that month Israeli troops attacked Egyptian military camps and Palestinian refugees in Gaza, killing 54 and injuring many more. The very night of the attack, Lord Orbach was on his way to deliver a message to Nasser, but was unable to get through because of the military action. When Orbach telephoned, Nasser's secretary told him that the attack proved that Israel did not want peace and that he was wasting his time as a mediator.

In November, Ben Gurion announced in the Knesset that he was willing to meet with Abdel Nasser anywhere and at any time for the sake of peace and understanding. The next morning the Israeli military attacked an Egyptian military camp in the Sabaha region.

In 1954 several terrorist bombs were set off at the United States Information Agency offices in Cairo and Alexandria. An attempt .. failed when the bomb went off in the pocket of one of the perpetrators. That led to the discovery that the terrorists were Israeli spies bent on souring the warming relationship between Egypt and the United States...

Although Nasser felt pessimistic about achieving peace with Israel, he continued to send other mediators to try. One was through the American Friends Service Committee; another via the Prime Minister of Malta, Dom Minthoff; and still another through Marshall Tito of Yugoslavia.

One that looked particularly promising was through Dennis Hamilton, editor of The London Times. Nasser told Hamilton that if only he could sit and talk with Ben Gurion for two or three hours, they would be able to settle the conflict and end the state of war between the two countries. When word of this reached Ben Gurion, he arranged to meet with Hamilton. They decided to pursue the matter with the Israeli ambassador in London, Arthur Luria, as liaison. On Hamilton's third trip to Egypt, Nasser met him with the text of a Ben Gurion speech stating that Israel would not give up an inch of land and would not take back a single refugee. Hamilton knew that Ben Gurion with his mouth had undermined a peace mission and missed an opportunity to settle the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Nasser even sent his friend Ibrahim Izat of the Ruz El Yusuf weekly paper to meet with Israeli leaders in order to explore the political atmosphere and find out why the attacks were taking place if Israel really wanted peace. One of the men Izat met with was Yigal Yadin, a former Chief of Staff of the army who wrote this letter to me on 14 January 1982:

Dear Mr. Giladi:

Your letter reminded me of an event which I nearly forgot and of which I remember only a few details.

Ibrahim Izat came to me if I am not mistaken under the request of the Foreign Ministry or one of its branches; he stayed in my house and we spoke for many hours. I do not remember him saying that he came on a mission from Nasser, but I have no doubt that he let it be understood that this was with his knowledge or acquiescence....

When Nasser decided to nationalize the Suez Canal in spite of opposition from the British and the French, Radio Cairo announced in Hebrew:

If the Israeli government is not influenced by the British and the French imperialists, it will eventually result in greater understanding between the two states, and Egypt will reconsider Israel's request to have access to the Suez Canal.

Israel responded that it had no designs on Egypt, but at that very moment Israeli representatives were in France planning the three-way attack that was to take place in October, 1956.

All the while, Ben Gurion continued to talk about the Hitler of the Middle East. This brainwashing went on until late September, 1970, when Gamal Abdel Nasser passed away. Then, miracle of miracles, David Ben Gurion told the press:

A week before he died I received an envoy from Abdel Nasser who asked to meet with me urgently in order to solve the problems between Israel and the Arab world.

The public was surprised because they didn't know that Abdel Nasser had wanted this all along, but Israel sabotaged it.

Nasser was not the only Arab leader who wanted to make peace with Israel. There were many others. Brigadier General Abdel Karim Qasem, before he seized power in Iraq in July, 1958, headed an underground organization that sent a delegation to Israel to make a secret agreement. Ben Gurion refused even to see him. I learned about this when I was a journalist in Israel. But whenever I tried to publish even a small part of it, the censor would stamp it "Not Allowed."

Now, in Netanyahu, we are witnessing another attempt by an Israeli prime minister to fake an interest in making peace. Netanyahu and the Likud are setting Arafat up by demanding that he institute more and more repressive measures in the interest of Israeli "security." Sooner or later I suspect the Palestinians will have had enough of Arafat's strong-arm methods as Israel's quisling-and he'll be killed. Then the Israeli government will say, "See, we were ready to give him everything. You can't trust those Arabs-they kill each other. Now there's no one to even talk to about peace."


Alexis de Tocqueville once observed that it is easier for the world to accept a simple lie than a complex truth. Certainly it has been easier for the world to accept the Zionist lie that Jews were evicted from Muslim lands because of anti-Semitism, and that Israelis, never the Arabs, were the pursuers of peace. The truth is far more discerning: bigger players on the world stage were pulling the strings.

These players, I believe, should be held accountable for their crimes, particularly when they willfully terrorized, dispossessed and killed innocent people on the altar of some ideological imperative.

I believe, too, that the descendants of these leaders have a moral responsibility to compensate the victims and their descendants, and to do so not just with reparations, but by setting the historical record straight.

That is why I established a panel of inquiry in Israel to seek reparations for Iraqi Jews who had been forced to leave behind their property and possessions in Iraq. That is why I joined the Black Panthers in confronting the Israeli government with the grievances of the Jews in Israel who came from Islamic lands. And that is why I have written my book and this article: to set the historical record straight. is easier for the world to accept a simple lie than a complex truth.

Certainly it has been easier for the world to accept the Zionist lie that Jews were evicted from Muslim lands because of anti-Semitism, and that Israelis, never the Arabs, were the pursuers of peace.

The truth is far more discerning: bigger players on the world stage were pulling the strings.

We Jews from Islamic lands did not leave our ancestral homes because of any natural enmity between Jews and Muslims. And we Arabs-I say Arab because that is the language my wife and I still speak at home-we Arabs on numerous occasions have sought peace with the State of the Jews. And finally, as a U.S. citizen and taxpayer, let me say that we Americans need to stop supporting racial discrimination in Israel and the cruel expropriation of lands in the West Bank, Gaza, South Lebanon and the Golan Heights.


[1] Mileshtin was quoted by the Israeli daily, Hadashot, in an article published August 13, 1993. The writer, Sarah Laybobis-Dar, interviewed a number of Israelis who had knowledge of the use of bacteriological weapons in the 1948 war. Mileshtin said bacteria was used to poison the wells of every village emptied of its Arab inhabitants.
[2] On Sept. 12, 1990, the New York State Supreme Court issued a restraining order at the request of the Israeli government to prevent publication of Ostrovsky's book, "By Way of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer." The New York State Appeals Court lifted the ban the next day.
[3] Marion Woolfson, "Prophets in Babylon: Jews in the Arab World," p. 129
[4] Yosef Meir, "Road in the Desert," Israeli Defense Ministry, p. 36.
[5] See my book, "Ben Gurion's Scandals," p. 105.
[6] Wilbur Crane Eveland, "Ropes of Sand: America's Failure in the Middle East," NY; Norton, 1980, pp. 48-49.
[7] T. Herzl, "The Complete Diaries," NY: Herzl Press & Thomas Yoncloff, 1960, vol. 1, p. 88.
[8] Report of the Congress of the World Council of Paole Zion, Zurich, July 29-August 7, 1937, pp. 73-74.



[Image] Americans for Middle East Understanding (AMEU), (publishers of The Link)
[Image] Buy Naeim Giladi book "Ben Gurion's Scandals: How the Haganah & Mossad Eliminated Jews" (1992, 261 pp., hardback.) from AMEU.



by Naeim Giladi

Courtesy The Link, Volume 31, Issue 2, April-May 1998

The author, Naeim Giladi

I write this article
for the same reason I wrote my book:
to tell the American people,
and especially American Jews,
that Jews from Islamic lands did not emigrate
willingly to Israel; that, to force them to leave,
Jews killed Jews; and that,
to buy time to confiscate ever more Arab lands,
Jews on numerous occasions
rejected genuine peace initiatives
from their Arab neighbors.
I write about what the first prime minister of Israel called "cruel Zionism."
I write about it because I was part of it.


The Link interviewed Naeim Giladi, a Jew from Iraq, for three hours on March 16, 1998, two days prior to his 69th birthday. For nearly two other delightful hours, we were treated to a multi-course Arabic meal prepared by his wife Rachael, who is also Iraqi. "It's our Arab culture," he said proudly.

In our previous Link, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe looked at the hundreds of thousands of indigenous Palestinians whose lives were uprooted to make room for foreigners who would come to populate confiscated land. Most were Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe. But over half a million other Jews came from Islamic lands. Zionist propagandists claim that Israel "rescued" these Jews from their anti-Jewish, Muslim neighbors. One of those "rescued" Jews-Naeim Giladi-knows otherwise.

In his book, Ben Gurion's Scandals: How the Haganah & the Mossad Eliminated Jews, Giladi discusses the crimes committed by Zionists in their frenzy to import raw Jewish labor. Newly-vacated farmlands had to be plowed to provide food for the immigrants and the military ranks had to be filled with conscripts to defend the stolen lands. Mr. Giladi couldn't get his book published in Israel, and even in the U.S. he discovered he could do so only if he used his own money.

The Giladis, now U.S. citizens, live in New York City. By choice, they no longer hold Israeli citizenship. "I am Iraqi," he told us, "born in Iraq, my culture still Iraqi Arabic, my religion Jewish, my citizenship American."

John F. Mahoney
Executive Director,

Americans for Middle East Understanding (AMEU)


Of course I thought I knew it all back then. I was young, idealistic, and more than willing to put my life at risk for my convictions. It was 1947 and I wasn't quite 18....