American Politics, Terrorism and Islam - Part 5: Allegations of Israeli Terrorism

Habib Siddiqui

Posted Jun 5, 2008      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
Bookmark and Share

American Politics, Terrorism and Islam - Part 5: Allegations of Israeli Terrorism

By Habib Siddiqui

Israel plays an important role in American politics. So strong is the power and influence of the pro-Israeli Lobby that no politician can afford to appear anti-Israel by questioning, let alone chiding, her criminal, sadistic, state terrorism that is routinely practiced against the Palestinian people. Such queries, while freely discussed inside Israel by concerned Jews, sadly remain a taboo in the West. 

If we stick to the definition of terrorism that is provided by Professor Richard Falk of the Princeton University, the first recorded episode of terrorism can probably be traced back to Samson in the Torah.[1] His is the classic case of what can be called suicide terrorism, now much practiced in vast territories from Asia to Latin America by those who believe that they have been wronged.

However for our purpose here, we shall limit this discussion to the last 90 years. Probably the first victim of Jewish terrorism in the post-WWI period was Jacob Israel de Haan, the Dutch Jewish novelist, poet, lawyer, and legal scholar, who wanted a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Arabs for the recognition of a Jewish state and the establishment of an official Palestinian state in Jordan within a federation. This alarmed the secular Zionist leadership and De Haan was assassinated on July 1, 1924 by the Haganah, a Zionist paramilitary force.[2]

It is worth mentioning here that for much of its existence (1920-1948), the Haganah, the precursor to today’s Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), enjoyed cooperation and assistance from the British Mandate government in Palestine. It also acquired foreign arms and began to develop weapon factories to create hand grenades and military equipment, transforming from an irregular militia force to a capable underground army. In 1936 the Haganah had 10,000 regulars along with 40,000 reservists. During the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, it participated actively to protect British interests and to suppress Arab rebellion.

In 1931, the most militant elements of the Haganah splintered off and formed the Irgun Tsva’i-Leumi (National Military Organization), better known as the “Irgun,” under Avraham Tehomi. In 1940, the Irgun also split over the issue of whether or not to attack the British during WW II and their off-shoot became known as the “Lehi” (short from the Hebrew name - Lochamei Herut Yisrael – meaning, Fighters for the Freedom of Israel), more commonly known as the “Stern Gang” after its leader, Avraham Stern.[3] The Stern Gang members were ardent students of violence, great admirers of Mussolini who steeped themselves in the terrorist traditions of the pre-1917 Russian Socialist-Revolutionary Party, the Macedonian IMRO, and the Italian “Black Shirts”.[4] They sought a Greater Israel as defined in Genesis 15:18, plus building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

These three terrorist gangs, as noted by Scott Bidstrup, “operated with little restraint, targeting Arab civilians, often setting up snipers to shoot at innocent Arab civilians waiting at bus stops, shopping in the markets and in doing business in other public places. The deaths of innocent Palestinian Arabs began to mount. The British responded by simply deporting those it caught that it believed to be participating in terrorism. They deported 439 suspected Jewish terrorists, mostly to modern-day Eritrea.”[5]
Before we go any further, some basic information on the past history of some leaders of the Jewish state is useful here. Yitzhak Rabin joined Haganah in 1941. Ariel Sharon joined the Gadna, a paramilitary youth battalion, in 1942 at the age of 14. Later he joined the Haganah.

Menachem Begin became a close disciple of Vladimir “Ze’ev” Jabotinsky, the founder of the militant, racist, Revisionist Zionism movement, and its youth wing – Betar, in the mid-1930s. Upon arrival in Palestine in August of 1942, he received a proposal to take over a position in the Irgun (which was also inspired by Jabotinsky’s views), as Betar’s Commissioner. In 1944 Begin assumed the organization’s leadership, determined to expel the British government from Palestine. Begin issued a call to arms and from 1944 to 1948 the Irgun launched an all-out armed rebellion, perpetrating hundreds of attacks against British installations and posts. Begin financed these operations by extorting money from Zionist businessmen, and running bogus robbery scams in the local diamond industry, which enabled the victims to get back their losses from insurance companies.[6] The British government considered Begin a terrorist and its Security Service MI5 placed a ‘dead-or-alive’ bounty of £10,000 on his head after the Irgun threatened to kill Sir John Shaw, Britain’s Chief Secretary in Palestine. An MI5 agent (codenamed Snuffbox) also warned that Irgun had sleeper cells in London trying to kill members of British Prime Minister Clement Attlee’s Cabinet.

Yitzhak Shamir, like Begin, joined Betar in his youth. After immigrating to Palestine in 1935, he joined the Irgun. Later he joined the Lehi, which proposed to intervene in the WW II on the side of Nazi Germany. Lehi offered assistance in “evacuating” the Jews of Europe, in return for Germany’s help in expelling Britain from Palestine. [See also Faris Glubb’s book - Zionist Relations with Nazism.]

As noted by Arie Perliger and Leonard Weinberg, during the Arab Revolt (1936-1939) the Irgun carried out sixty attacks against the Palestinian Arabs resulting in the death of at least 250 Arabs, reflecting its world view that “political violence and terrorism” were “legitimate tools in the Jewish national struggle for the Land of Israel”.[7]

The Irgun and Lehi targeted British policemen and soldiers, United Nations-personnel, Jews suspected of collaborating with the British, and Arab civilians. The Irgun was described as a terrorist organization in media such as The New York Times newspaper, and by the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry. The Lehi was described as a terrorist group by the British government.

On 25 November 1940, the Haganah, opposed to the deportation of some 1,800 illegal Jewish immigrants who were being deported by the British authorities from Palestine to Mauritius and Trinidad, sunk the ship Patria by planting a bomb that killed over 200 Jews and some Britons and Arabs, and injured 172 people.

Other notable terrorist acts by the founding fathers of the State of Israel include: the assassination of Lord Moyne (November 6, 1944) by two Stern Gang terrorists, masterminded by Yitzhak Shamir;[8] the bombing of the King David Hotel (July 2, 1946), masterminded by Menachem Begin of the Irgun, resulting in 91 dead (including 41 Arabs);[9] the bombing of the British Embassy in Rome by the Irgun on October 31, 1946; the bombing of the central police station in Haifa, Palestine, killing four and injuring 140, by the Stern Gang members who drove a truckload of explosives on January 12, 1947.[10] Three months later (April 1947) the Stern Gang repeated the tactic in Tel Aviv, blowing up the Sarona police barracks with a stolen postal truck filled with dynamite, resulting in five casualties. On July 25, 1947, the Irgun murdered two British sergeants, who had been taken as prisoners, in response to the British execution of two Irgun members in Akko prison.

Unhappy about the UN Partition Plan because of its failure to deliver Eretz Israel to the settler Jews, the Stern Gang decided to hit hard Palestinian positions. On January 4, 1948, dressed as Arabs, two Stern Gang members drove a truck ostensibly loaded with oranges into the center of Jaffa and parked it next to the New Seray Building, which housed the Palestinian municipal government as well as a soup-kitchen for poor children. Twenty six Palestinians were killed and hundreds were injured; most were civilians, including many children eating at the charity kitchen. The bomb missed the local Palestinian leadership who had moved to another building, but the atrocity was highly successful in terrifying residents and setting the stage for their eventual flight.

The Stern Gang members planted mines on Cairo-Haifa rail track several times that killed 28 soldiers and wounding 35, north of Rehovot on February 29, 1948, and killed 40 and injured 60 civilians, all Arabs, near Binyamina on March 1, 1948.[11]
During April 9-11, 1948, Irgun and Stern Gang massacred some 260 Arab civilians in Deir Yassin, as part of Operation Nachshon.[12] The commander of the Haganah unit that controlled Deir Yassin after the massacre, Zvi Ankori, made this statement in the Israeli newspaper Davar: “I went into six to seven houses. I saw cut off genitalia and women’s crushed stomachs. According to the shooting signs on the bodies, it was direct murder.” [Davar, April 9, 1982] As has been noted by many historians, the massacre in Deir Yassin set the final stage for the flight of some 750,000 Palestinians from their homes.

On July 13, 1948, Jewish terrorist gangs, backed up by Israeli troops, entered the all-Palestinian towns of Lydda and Ramleh, in the Palestinian Partition, just east of Jaffa. The Arab death toll in Lydda alone was 250. Prime Minister Ben-Gurion himself issued the order for the expulsion of Arabs that was countersigned by Lt. Col. Yitzhak Rabin, then the operations chief in charge of the attack. As Scott Bidstrup has noted “the Israeli troops forcibly evicted approximately 70,000 Palestinians from their homes, allowing them no time at all for preparation, and simply drove them out into the hot July sun, most fleeing across open fields in the 100-degree temperatures. Hundreds died of thirst and exposure.”[13]

Nearly 900 Arabs were massacred by Israelis during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, after the state of Israel was established on May 15, 1948.[14] After the War of Independence, Israel’s terrorism did not stop. It had only begun to continue to this very day. Here below is a short list:

On September 17, 1948, Yitzhak Shamir’s Stern Gang assassinated Swedish peace mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte.

On October 29, 1948, between 80 and 100 Palestinian men, women and children were killed in Dawayma. The children were killed by simply clubbing them to death with heavy sticks.

On October 14-15, 1953, Ariel Sharon commanded attack on the Palestinian village Qibya, destroying 42 homes and killing 70 civilians, most of them women and children.”[15]

In 1954, the Israeli government launched a secret operation of terror, called “Operation Suzannah” (also the “Lavon Affair” - named after the Israeli defense minister Pinhas Lavon) led by Israeli Army intelligence “Unit 131”, against the United States. It plotted to murder Americans and blow up American installations in Egypt. Their plan was to leave false evidence that the Egyptians had done those terrorist acts, so as to make America go to war against Egypt on the side of Israel. Israeli agents succeeded in blowing up some post offices (July 2, 1954) in Alexandria and American libraries (July 14, 1954) in Cairo. On the way to blow up an American movie house, the MGM Theater, an Israeli’s agent’s bomb went off prematurely, thus exposing the plot.

On October 29, 1956 Israeli border guards cold-bloodedly murders 47 Arabs in Kafr Qasim. In 1966, the village of Sammu was attacked killing 18 and wounding 100 Arabs.

On November 13, 1966, 18 Palestinians were killed and 54 wounded; 125 houses and the village clinic were also destroyed in Al Sammou’, along with 15 houses in a neighboring village.

In 1967, during the Six Day War, Israel again committed a serious terrorist act by attacking a U.S. Navy ship - the USS Liberty on June 8, killing 34 American servicemen and injuring 172.[16] The Israelis first attacked the Liberty’s radio towers in an attempt to stop the Sixth Fleet from learning that the Israelis were the attackers. After unmarked Israeli fighters horrendously bombed and strafed the Liberty, Israel sent in torpedo boats to finish the job. They even machine gunned the deployed life rafts in an effort to ensure that there won’t be any survivor (witness) who could expose them. This terrorist act was done to put the blame on the Arabs so that the USA could bomb Arab cities. The United States Secretary of State at the time, Dean Rusk, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Thomas Moorer, both said that the attack was deliberate and no accident.[17]

After the capture of East Jerusalem in 1967 War, several dozen homes were demolished in front of the Western Wall of the Temple and 5500 Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homes without any compensation.  Several villages in the West Bank were also destroyed and some 430,000 Palestinians evicted from their homes. In the Golan Heights alone, 244 villages out of 249 were destroyed and 147,000 people evicted.[18]

In 1969 Israeli bombing of school Bahdr al Baker killed 75 children and wounded 100. The Israeli bombing of Syrian and Lebanese towns and villages on Sept 8, 1972 resulted in death of few hundred civilians. Lebanon has been a veritable theater of Israeli assassination. The Israeli secret service Mossad employed car bombs in Beirut to assassinate Palestinian novelist Ghassan Kanafani in July 1972. The same year, Yehud Barak led an Israeli commando death squad into Beirut, Lebanon where he personally murdered Palestinian writer Kamal Edwan. In the middle of the night, using silenced submachine guns, he and his team slaughtered Edwan while he had slept in his bed. Between 1975 and 1980 the Mossad carried out numerous assassination attempts on Palestinian intellectuals and other dignitaries.

As Mike Davis has shown car bombs began to regularly terrorize Muslim West Beirut in the fall of 1981, apparently as part of an Israeli strategy to evict the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from Lebanon. The Mossad was sponsoring the carnage. According to Middle Eastern scholar Professor Rashid Khalidi, “A sequence of public confessions by captured drivers made clear these [car bombings] were being utilized by the Israelis and their Phalangist allies to increase the pressure on the PLO to leave.”[19]
The Israeli air raids inside Lebanon killed 20 civilians in Saida’s residential area, 150 in Fakhani and another 150 in the Beirut Arab University area in 1981.[20]

In the summer of 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon. So massive were the bombing raids on Beirut in August of 1982, on the orders of Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, that some 20,000 civilians were killed.

On the night of September 16, 1982, some three months after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Sharon sent the Maronite Christian Phalangist murder squads into two Palestinian refugee camps, Sabra and Chatila. With Israeli tanks and troops closely surrounding the camps to prevent anyone from escaping, the murder squads machine-gunned, bayoneted, and bludgeoned Palestinian civilians all that night, the next day and the following night while the Israelis surrounding the camps listened gleefully to the machine gun fires and screams coming from inside. Sharon then sent in bulldozers to hide as much of the atrocity as he could. Some 1500 to 2500 Palestinian men, women and children were butchered. Even after the efforts of Sharon’s bulldozers, many Palestinians remained unburied, and the Red Cross workers were able to discover entire families, including hundreds of elderly and little children, with their throats cut or disemboweled. Uncounted numbers of women and girls were also raped before they were slaughtered. [An Israeli investigation in 1983 found Sharon indirectly but “personally” responsible for the deaths, and he was forced to resign.]

In October of 1982, Israeli terrorist squads bombed houses, cars, and offices of three elected mayors of the West Bank cities - Nablus, Ramallah, and Al Beireh. In 1986 Naj Al Ali, a Palestinian cartoonist, was assassinated by the Israeli agents. In April of 1988 Israeli commandos invaded the home of Khalil Al Wazir, a Palestinian leader, and shot him in his bed. In February-March of 1989 Israeli jets bombed the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon killing 15 children and many adults. On April 14, 1989 Israeli police and armed Jewish settlers attacked the Palestinian village of Nahalin killing 8 and injuring 50.

On May 20, 1990, an IDF soldier in Oyon Qara lined up and machine-gunned to death 7 Palestinian men who were waiting to cross into Israel to go to their jobs. At the demonstrations that followed, the IDF troops opened with live fire arms killing 13.

On October 8, 1990, the IDF soldiers opened with live fire arms on worshipers in the Al-Aqsa Masjid, the third-holiest Islamic shrine in the world, killing 22.

In February of 1994 a Kach Party member - Baruch Goldstein - used an assault rifle to murder some 30 Palestinians worshipping in the Hebron mosque. Nearly 200 were injured. This terrorist act was praised by many rabbis. During the demonstrations that followed, the IDF forces opened with live fire arms on the demonstrators, killing 23 and wounding hundreds (the exact casualty figures were never released). Following the incident, Israel imposed a 5-week long curfew during which 76 Palestinians, mostly stone-throwing children, were killed. [The Israeli government later gave permission for a memorial to be constructed in honor of Goldstein.]

On February 27, 1994 the Israeli Mossad bombed the “Our Lady of Deliverance” Maronite Catholic Church at Jounieh, Lebanon killing 11 worshippers.

On March 28, 1994, the Israeli secret police opened fire on suspected Palestinian activists, killing 6 and injuring 49 in Jabalia. Those injured in their cars were removed from their cars and shot in the head to finish them off.
On July 17, 1994, Israeli settlers opened fire on Palestinians waiting to cross into Israel to go to work at the Eretz Checkpoint. Nearby Palestinians saw what was happening and a gun-battle ensued that lasted for six hours. On the Palestinian side, 11 were killed, 200 injured; on the Israeli side a soldier was killed and 21 were injured, along with an Israeli settler.

On April 11, 1996 Israel launched her Operation Grapes of Wrath by attacking southern Lebanon, killing nearly 170 civilians. So massive were the bombing raids that nearly half a million residents fled the area. The IDF bombed the UN shelter for refugees at Qana, Lebanon, killing some 106 civilians. According to Human Rights Watch, 2018 houses and buildings in South Lebanon were either completely destroyed or severely bombarded. Lebanon’s total economic damage was estimated at half a billion dollars.[21]
In 1999, Israeli warplanes bombed a group of children celebrating a Muslim festival in the Bekaa Valley killing 8. The year 2000 witnessed the video clips of the cold-blooded murder of 10-year old Mohamed el-Dura.[22]

Following G.W. Bush’s controversial win in the USA in 2000 and Ariel Sharon’s election win in February of 2001, Israel unveiled her worst of crimes, with full sanction of the White House, against the Palestinian people. Targeted killing of Palestinian activists and leaders[23] became too common, which in turn brought the suicide attacks as reprisals by Palestinian resistance forces.

On October 12, 2001, two Mossad agents were arrested while attempting to bomb the deliberation chamber of the Mexican National Congress in Mexico City.[24]

On December 10, 2001, the Palestinian activist Muhammad Sidir, 24, was hit by a missile that was dropped in a crowded intersection. Two Palestinian children died in the attacks and two other children were injured. Israeli helicopter gunships hovered over the carnage for five minutes, preventing immediate medical attention from being administered to the wounded and dying.”[25]

On December 17, 2001, Israeli troops murdered Palestinian activist Yaqoub Aidkadik. On January 14, 2002, they assassinated Palestinian resistance leader Raed al-Karmi. On January 24, 2002 Elie Hobeika, a Lebanese national, who was preparing to testify at a war crimes trial in Belgium against his former ally Ariel Sharon regarding Sharon’s masterminding of the Sabra and Chatila massacres, was assassinated by the Mossad agents.

Taking advantage of the post-9/11 atmosphere, between September and December of 2001, according to the Guardian newspaper, some 200 Palestinian children were killed and 400 injured by the Israeli forces. Sixty Palestinian homes in Gaza were destroyed as part of a collective punishment for the death of 4 Israeli soldiers.[26]

On March 6-16, 2002, some 200 Palestinian civilians were slaughtered in Jabalya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces.[27] On March 30, 2002, five Palestinian bank guards were summarily executed in Ramallah by the Israeli soldiers.[28]
During the Battle of Jenin, West Bank (April 3-11, 2002), the Israeli forces massacred at least 52 Palestinian civilians. So brutal was the Israeli action that the HRW castigated Israel to have “committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, some amounting prima facie to war crimes.”[29] The Amnesty International, in its November 4, 2002 report on Jenin and Nablus similarly alleged that Israel had committed war crimes. Specifically, the reports stated that unlawful killings occurred; there was a failure to ensure medical or humanitarian relief; demolition of houses and property occurred; water and electricity supplies to civilians were cut; torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in arbitrary detention occurred; and Palestinians civilians were used for military operations or as “human shields.” In addition, the Amnesty report charged that some civilians were not warned before their houses were demolished and hence they were buried in the rubble.

On May 20, 2002, Mossad car bombed Mohammed Jibril, a Palestinian leader.[30]

On July 23, 2002, an American-supplied F16 jet dropped a 1,000 lb. laser-guided bomb on an occupied Gaza City apartment block, killing 15 people (including 9 children and Sheikh Salah Shahada, the military leader of Hamas). Over 150 were wounded, mostly old men and women.[31]

On February 5, 2003, Kamla Said, a partially deaf woman of 65 was killed when the Israeli army demolished her house by dynamiting it during a raid on the Maghazi refugee camp in the Gaza Strip while she was still inside.[32]

On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, 23, a peace activist from America, was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in Rafah, Gaza, as she had protested against house demolitions.[33] On April 11, 2003, Tom Hurndall, 21, a peace activist from London, was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier as he had tried to help a Palestinian woman and her children move away from a gunfight in Rafah.[34]

On August 4, 2005, an ex-Israeli Army personnel and Kach Party member Eden Natan-Zada attacked a bus using an assault rifle, killing 4, wounding 12 Palestinians.[35]
During the week of July 15, 2006, the IDF, shortly before its invasion of Lebanon, in an official response to the kidnapping of one of its soldiers by the Hamas militants near the Gaza Strip, undertook a severe raid, in which at least 60 civilians were killed and hundreds injured. Israeli planes bombed an electrical power distribution facility, knocking out power to half of the Gaza Strip, and knocking out water pumping stations, leaving much of the Strip without potable water. Bridges linking the northern and southern halves of the Gaza strip were bombed, and border crossings were closed, putting at risk the civilian population of the Strip, which is totally dependent on supplies of food and fuel brought in through the border crossings with Israel.
During the July-August 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the Israeli Air Force bombed Lebanon for 34 days, killing some 1,300 civilians. So sadistic was the bombing campaign, Lebanon was dubbed to have been “bombed into the stone age.” Lebanon’s infrastructure was destroyed.

On November 8, 2006 the IDF shelled a row of houses in the Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, killing 19 Palestinians and wounding more than 40. Italy’s foreign minister Massimo D’Alema called the shelling of the civilians deliberate.[36]

The 2007 Amnesty International Report (for the year ending in December of 2006) stated, “Increased violence between Israelis and Palestinians resulted in a threefold increase in killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces. The number of Israelis killed by Palestinian armed groups diminished by half. More than 650 Palestinians, including some 120 children, and 27 Israelis were killed. Israeli forces carried out air and artillery bombardments in the Gaza Strip, and Israel continued to expand illegal settlements and to build a 700-km fence/wall on Palestinian land in the Occupied Territories. Military blockades and increased restrictions imposed by Israel on the movement of Palestinians and the confiscation by Israel of Palestinian customs duties caused a significant deterioration in living conditions for Palestinian inhabitants in the Occupied Territories, with poverty, food aid dependency, health problems and unemployment reaching crisis levels. Israeli soldiers and settlers committed serious human rights abuses, including unlawful killings, against Palestinians, mostly with impunity. Thousands of Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces throughout the Occupied Territories on suspicion of security offences and hundreds were held in administrative detention. Israeli conscientious objectors continued to be imprisoned for refusing to serve in the army. In a 34-day war against Hizbullah in Lebanon in July-August, Israeli forces committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes. Israeli bombardments killed nearly 1,200 people, and destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of homes and other civilian infrastructure. Israeli forces also littered south Lebanon with around a million unexploded cluster bombs which continued to kill and maim civilians after the conflict.”[37]

On June 1, 2007 Israeli troops shot and killed two 13-year-old Palestinians [Ahmed Abu Zbeida and Zaher al-Majdalawi] near the Gaza-Israel border fence, saying that they were crawling toward the barrier in a “suspicious manner.” The boys had told their families they were going to the beach. (The Guardian, June 1, 2007)[38]

In its year-end review of Israeli violence against Palestinian people, the Israeli Human Rights Organization B’tselem stated that in 2007 (up to 29 December), Israeli security forces killed 373 Palestinians (290 in Gaza, 83 in the West Bank), 53 among them minors. By comparison, in 2006, 657 Palestinians were killed, including 140 minors: 523 in Gaza, 134 in the West Bank. In 2007, there was an increase of 13 percent in the number of Palestinians held in administrative detention without trial, which averaged 830 people. Sixty-six staffed checkpoints and 459 physical roadblocks on average controlled movement inside the West Bank, thus hindering Palestinians’ freedom of movement. Israel continued the freeze policy on family unification, denying tens of thousands of Palestinians the right to a family life. The number of houses demolished in East Jerusalem rose by 38 percent. Palestinians continue to face severe discrimination in the allocation of water in the West Bank, causing serious hardship in the summer.[39]

The 2008 Amnesty International Report (in its year-end review for 2007) stated, “The human rights situation in the Israeli Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) remained dire. Israeli forces killed more than 370 Palestinians, destroyed more than 100 Palestinian homes and imposed ever more stringent restrictions on the movement of Palestinians. In June, the Israeli government imposed an unprecedented blockade on the Gaza Strip, virtually imprisoning its entire 1.5 million population, subjected them to collective punishment and causing the gravest humanitarian crisis to date. Some 40 Palestinians died after being refused passage out of Gaza for urgent medical treatment not available in local hospitals… Some 9,000 Palestinian adults and children remained in Israeli jails, some of whom had been held without charge or trial for years.” During the same period 13 Israelis were killed by Palestinian armed groups.[40]

As if this litany of state terrorism is not enough, Palestinians suspected of actively opposing Israel’s occupation of the West Bank or Gaza, have had their homes and families attacked by Israeli tanks, mortars, missiles and bombs. And after their suspect is killed or imprisoned, the Israeli army bulldozes or dynamites their family’s home. Over the years of occupation, thousands of homes have been destroyed in this fashion. Israel has also killed hundreds of Palestinian leaders by assassination. Such attacks often kill innocent bystanders.

Police brutality against Arab Israelis is common and well documented. Illegal detention, beatings, personal property confiscations and torture of Arab citizens of Israel are a fact of life. Their homes are routinely invaded and ransacked in the middle of the night, under the pretext of searching for suspects. From 1967 to 1988 more than 600,000 Palestinians have been held in Israeli jail for periods ranging from one week to life. During the first Intifada (1987-1994), Israel arrested some 175,000 Palestinians. According to the B’tselem, some 85% of Palestinian detainees have been tortured during interrogation.[41]

The Israeli torture includes everything from choking victims with urine and feces soaked bags tied over their heads to using electric cattle prods for anal rape and mutilation. The brutal torture of prisoners and detainees is recognized as a particularly vicious form of terrorism. Many thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese have died while in Israeli custody.

The use of cluster bombs in civilian territories is known to kill unarmed civilians and as such considered a crime, according to most international laws. However, Israel used cluster bombs in its bombing campaigns in Lebanon. Not surprisingly, therefore, that while the rest of the world recently vowed never to under any circumstance “use cluster munitions” nor “develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, cluster munitions,” Israel, like the USA, China and Russia have not ratified the treaty banning its use.[42]

Notwithstanding the fact that the above list of terrorism is incomplete, what is clear is that many of the leaders of the State of Israel – Begin, Rabin, Shamir, Barak and Sharon – were terrorists and that, irrespective of who runs the government there, the State of Israel continues to practice terrorism against her dispossessed Palestinians and neighbors. Audaciously, she has also practiced terrorism against the USA, the country which has been her greatest benefactor.[43]
Recently, Israel’s latest 11-month blockade of Gaza has been dubbed as “abominable” by Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Laureate for Peace. He denounced the international community by stating that “our silence and complicity, especially on the situation in Gaza, shames us all. It is almost like the behavior of the military junta in Burma.”[44]

Sadly, many lawmakers in the West who cry out foul about human rights violations in places like Burma and China (especially when it comes to Tibet), are the most vocal supporters of state terrorism of Israel. Why this double standard? Will these western leaders ever have the moral courage to condemn Israel for her monumental records of state terrorism?


[1] After Samson was captured by the Philistines, one day the Philistine leaders assemble in a temple for a religious sacrifice to Dagon, their god, for having delivered Samson into their hands. They summon Samson so that he may entertain them. Three thousand more men and women gather on the roof to watch. Once inside the temple, Samson, his hair having grown long again, asks the servant who is leading him to the temple’s central pillars if he may lean against them (referring to the pillars). “Then Samson prayed to the Lord, ‘O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.’ (Judges 16:28).” “Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines!’ (Judges 16:30) Down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more as he died than while he lived.” (Judges 16:30).
[2] De Haan’s assassination was well researched and reported in the book De Haan: The first political assassination in Palestine written by Israeli journalists Shlomo Nakdimon and Shaul Mayzlish.
[3] See for more information on the group.
[5] Scott Bidstrup, Origins of Conflict in the Middle East: the untold stories of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,
[6] Yehuda Bauer, From Diplomacy to Resistance: A history of Jewish Palestine, Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia, 1970, p. 325.
[7] ARIE PERLIGER and LEONARD WEINBERG, Jewish Self-Defence and Terrorist Groups Prior to the Establishment of the State of Israel: Roots and Traditions, in Religious Fundamentalism and Political Extremism, ed. Ami Pedahzur and Leonard Weinberg, March 2004.
[8] Interestingly, the bodies of the assassins of Lord Moyne were brought home in 1975 to a state funeral and burial on Mount Herzl.
[9] The Jewish Agency initially denied responsibility, but within a year, Haganah had admitted it had planned and carried out the attack. Moshe Sneh of the Haganah approved the act.
[12] Israelis present at Deir Yassin have confirmed these atrocities. After his retirement in 1972, Israeli Haganah officer, Colonel Meir Pa’el, stated the following about Deir Yassin: “The Irgun and LEHI men came out of hiding and began to `clean’ the houses. They shot whoever they saw, women and children included, the commanders did not try to stop the massacre…they were taken to the quarry between Deir Yassin and Giv’at Shaul, and murdered in cold blood…” [Yediot Ahronot, April 4, 1972]
[15] Ha’aretz:  As long as he doesn’t hurt us again. Feb. 16, 2001.
[16] ENNES, James M. (1979). Assault on the Liberty: The True Story of the Israeli Attack on an American Intelligence Ship. N. Y., Random House.
[19] Davis quotes veteran journalist Robert Fisk who was in Beirut about the carnage: “[an] enormous [car] bomb blew a 45-foot-crater in the road and brought down an entire block of apartments. The building collapsed like a concertina, crushing more than 50 of its occupants to death, most of them Shia refugees from southern Lebanon.” Several of the car bombers were captured and confessed that the bombs had been rigged by the Shin Bet, the Israeli equivalent of the FBI or the British Special Branch.
[23] Targeted killings have long been practiced by the Zionist state. Here is a short list of the Palestinian intellectuals and leaders killed by the Mossad, per compilation of Bidstrup up to 1996: Ghassan Kanafani, 1972, Beirut
Wail Zuaiter, 1972, Rome
Mahmoud Al Hamshari, 1972, Paris
Hussein AbulKhair, 1973, Nicosia
Basel Kubaissy, 1973, Paris
Mohammad Yousef AlNajjar, 1973, Beirut
Kamal Adwan, 1973, Beirut
Kamal Naser, 1973, Beirut
Nada Yashruti, 1973, Beirut
Mohammad BouDaiah, 1973, Paris
Ahmed BouChiki, 1973, Oslo
Abdel Rahman Saleh, 1973, Copenhagen
Hamdi Rahmeh, 1975, Beirut
Mahmoud Saleh, 1977, Paris
Ali Naser Yassin, 1978, Kuwait
Ali Salameh, 1979, Beirut
Zuhair Muhsen, 1979, Cannes
Samir Touqan, 1979, Paris
Yousef Mubarak, 1980, Nicosia
Naim Khader, 1980, Brussels
Majed Abu Sharar, 1981, Rome
Abdul Wahab AlKayyli 1981 Beirut
Hussein Kamal, 1982, Rome
Mohammad Qadoumi, 1982, Paris
Sa’ad Sayel, 1982, Beirut
Suhail Abul Kul 1982 Nicosia
Tawfik AlSafadi, 1983, Nicosia
Mamoun Mreish, 1983, Amman
Ismail Darwish, 1984, Paris
Hanna Muqbil, 1984, Nicosia
Fahed AlQuasmeh, 1984, Amman
Alex Odeh, 1985, California
Khaled Nazzal, 1986, Athens
Munther Abu Ghazaleh, 1986, Athens
Naji Al Ali, 1987, London
Marwan Kayyali, 1988, Nicosia
Mohammad Hassan Al Buhaisy, 1988, Nicosia
Mohammed Basem Sultan, 1988, Nicosia
Khalil AlWazir, 1988, Tunis
Atef Bseisso, 1989, Paris
Abbas Musawi, 1992, S. Lebanon
AbdulMuniem Abu Hamid, 1994, Al Ram
Fathi AlShiqaqi, 1996, Malta(
[32] Israeli bulldozers crush woman, 65, in her house, by Justin Huggler in Jerusalem, The Independent, UK, 6 February, 2003.
[41]; see also the Ha’aretz article by Sami Sockol, Moshe Reinfeld, May 20, 1998.
[43] For a more thorough review, consult “The Israeli Holocaust Against the Palestinians” by Moshe Lieberman & Michael A. Hoffman II.*px29R4&product=Books_and_Pamphlets. For weekly violence in the occupied territory, see the site: