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Former Israeli Supreme Court Justice: Israel Fabricated Rocket-Fire to Launch Deif Assassination

You’ll recall a few days ago I posted a tantalizing clue from Haaretz’ Amir Oren which noted that thirty years ago Israel fabricated an alleged terror provocation which it used to launch a military attack (or assassination) of its own.  While I haven’t been able to isolate which historical event he’s referring to, given Oren’s track record and journalistic style, I had a strong hunch he was trying to tell his readers something specific about the Deif assassination.

My guess is that he was saying that Israel fabricated the rocket fire which it claimed violated the truce agreement.  After it informed the world about Hamas’ violation, it was emboldened to launch the attack on the al Dalou home, where Deif and his family were sheltering.  That bombing, which used American-made GBU28 bunker buster bombs delivered by U.S.-made war planes, killed 12 civilians including Deif’s wife and two children.  It may’ve also killed Deif, though no one knows for sure.

This false flag operation was clumsily mounted and will easily be exposed.  It will further erode what little credibility Israel has in the world community.  You remember when Israel cloned passports of citizens of allied nations as part of an assassination plot against Mahmoud al-Mabouh?  In doing so, it endangered them and violated the trust and sovereignty of friends (and leading to the expulsion of a number of Mossad station chiefs)?  In terms of the effect this will have on Israel’s already tarnished reputation, it’s a similar exercise in chicanery.

michael ben yair

Former Israeli attorney general, Michael Ben Yair, confirms IDF false flag operation leading to Deif assassination

Now comes further speculation from Michael Ben Yair, a former Israeli attorney general under both Yitzhak Rabin and Bibi Netanyahu, and former Supreme Court justice, that the IDF did indeed fabricate the truce violation.  Under normal circumstances, I might be skeptical of the source.  But in this case, Ben Yair is an insider and his views merit attention.  He posted on Facebook:

There is no ceasefire [agreement].  There are only renewed acts of hatred.  Who’s at fault?  Good question–Hamas which wants a deal more or Israel which faked a violation in order to assassinate Mohammed Deif.

This theory, which I believe is solid, makes a mockery of Jodi Rudoren’s reporting in the NY Times:

Hamas is the party that keeps extending this summer’s bloody battle in the Gaza Strip, repeatedly breaking temporary truces…

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{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Diane V. McLoughlin August 23, 2014, 3:33 PM

    Hi Richard, sharing, here is what tweet looks like before: ‘Tikun Olam writes http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2014/08/23/former-israeli-supreme-court-justice-israel-fabricated-rocket-fire-to-launch-deif-assassination/

    Edited, posted:’ #Israel fakes #Hamas ceasefire breach to attempt assassination in #Gaza kills pregnant wife child [your link here] #tcot #cdnpoli ‘ :) Keep up the great work! Btw, did u see the tweet of Danny Alon’s re blocking food and water to Gaza? Cheers

  • Black Canary August 23, 2014, 3:42 PM

    Former Attorney General Ben Yair sounds like an extremist to my ears.

    According to Ynetnews.com, Mr. Ben-Yair posted on his Facebook page last year that “The settlements are the most evil and foolish acts since World War II.” One of his Facebook friends responded, “Do you claim that the settlements are worse than Pol Pot’s regime in Cambodia? Than Stalin’s crimes against his people? Than Darfur?” to which Ben-Yair wrote, “Definitely. The settlement movement is a political act by a state against another people and as such is the most evil and immoral act since the end of World War II.”

    Richard. Isn’t it possible that Ben Yair is merely parroting YOUR speculation into a false flag rocket attack?
    He offers no proof whatsoever. Not even a cite.

    • Richard Silverstein August 23, 2014, 4:58 PM

      I don’t agree with his appraisal of the settlements. But I do believe that Istareli policy toward Palestine is evil, unjust, & in cases like Operation. Protective Edge, a wr crime. What does it matter whether it’s the most or 10th most evil act since WWII?

      As for extremist, extremists don’t get to be Israeli AG, or at least not left wing extremists.

  • nessim dayan August 23, 2014, 4:30 PM

    this is an article in haaretz english – i’ve not seeing copied anywhere or even mentioned
    327 holocaust survivors or descendants are lambasting elie wiesel and are coming straight out against israel and in favor of bds
    do you think anyone in potus surroundings will stand up and pay attention. or also these are antisemitic because they are against israel.
    Like Mr. Bradley said it our generation has screwed the poop it is time to leave the stage for those who will have to live in the mess our generation has made

    • Arie Brand August 23, 2014, 6:26 PM

      The letter by the holocaust survivors was published in the British Guardian. Adam Levick, who edits a very low level blog called CIF-watch (an extension of CAMERA but even worse), has tried to indicate what a similar letter by self-critical Palestinians would look like. I haven’t wasted any time on it.

  • Iftach Shavit August 23, 2014, 5:08 PM

    I think Amir Oren is referring to the failed assassination attempt on the Israeli ambassador to the U.K, Shlomo Argov in 1982, which was attributed to the Abu Nidal organization and served as the pretext for Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982. (Israel PM Menachem Begin, said on record,”I don’t care if Abu Nidal is the enemy of Arafat. This Abu, that Abu, they’re all the same.”)

    I was born and raised in Nahal Oz, the small Israeli community bordering with Gaza that just lost a 4 year old boy killed by mortar shelling from Gaza in retaliation for the Israeli assassinations, so I’m particularly sad and would like to see Yoram Cohen, the head of the Security Services, go to my old kibbutz and explain to the parents of little Daniel, and to the rest of the community, why are they still under attack. I am blaming the security services (Shabak) and not Netanyahu in this case, because Netanyahu never says no to any military or Shabak plan. He is more comfortable as a spokesperson for whatever the army and security establishment does than he is as a leader. This way if anything goes wrong he can blame them and act like he had nothing to do with it.

    • Richard Silverstein August 23, 2014, 8:20 PM

      @Iftach: I thought of the Argov assassination. But unless Oren is saying that Abu Nidal was working on behalf of Israeli intelligence (which is possible I suppose since Abu Nidal was such a shady character), I don’t see how Israel orchestrated the attempted murder. Of course, Begin & Sharon exploited the attack to launch the 1982 Lebanon war. That’s clear.

      • Iftach Shavit August 24, 2014, 12:45 PM

        Uri Avnery wrote at the time that Abu Nidal was working for Sharon, and the attempt failed (Argov didn’t die but was severely injured) because the operation had to be prepared very hastily. One of the assassins recruited was Abu Nidal’s own nephew, who was a student in England and not a professional terrorist.

      • Slevdi August 24, 2014, 12:48 PM

        The year -1967 – might be too early, but I think attack on the USS Liberty is regarded as an israeli conspiracy by many anti-Zionists. Maybe he was referring to this? http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Liberty_incident

        • Arie Brand August 25, 2014, 4:14 AM

          What is this business about “anti-Zionists” believing that the Israeli attack on the Liberty was deliberate? Many of those who have come to this conclusion had nothing to do with Zionism, one way or the other.

          • Slevdi August 25, 2014, 2:35 PM

            I meant to say conspiracy theorists.

  • Arie Brand August 23, 2014, 6:10 PM

    Even if Rudoren doesn’t believe it herself she could, seeing its distinguished source, at least report the claim.

  • Dana August 23, 2014, 10:07 PM

    There is also a good article by Uri Avnery about the fake rocket attack (false flag – how many of those has israel launched? why haven’t the killers of the three settler teens not been found yet?). He calls it “Son of Death”. It’s a good read. It’s in Antiwar.com (sorry no link handy). Looks like everybody is corroborating richard’s article here, so we might as well conclude there’s much fire there behind all the smoke.

    What’s a baby and a preggnant woman between friends anyways? to the hit men in the Israeli mafioso “army” it’s all a game anyways. I doubt a single person among all israel’s Jews lost a second sleep about the baby, though they do like their baby killers. The more the better, that’s what I get from reading the hebrew facebooks — I should really stop doing that. Too depressing….

  • Melissa Barnard August 23, 2014, 11:18 PM

    Contrary to your headline, Michael Ben-Yair was never a Supreme Court justice. He served as Attorney General from 1993-1996, and has since become a political outlier with no connection at all to Israel’s security establishment. He is, of course, free to speculate as much as he wants, but he offers not a shred of evidence for his claim, and doesn’t even claim to have any inside connections to information.

    Separately, I’m sure you noticed the admission by Hamas that it orchestrated the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teenagers in June, and I look forward to your correction on this issue:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/11048705/Hamas-kidnapped-three-teenagers-leading-figure-says.html

    • Arie Brand August 23, 2014, 11:48 PM

      Melissa, this has already been discussed in comments on two earlier posts by Richard. The “admission” was not made by HAMAS as such but by a fellow who has been away from the scene for quite a while, most recently in Turkey. The Guardian published what seems to me the most appropriate comment at this stag. It was quoted in one of the posts a few days ago but here it is again:

      Hugh Lovatt, Israel and Palestine coordinator at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said that while al-Arouri was a significant Hamas figure – serving as the group’s most prominent representative in Turkey – the former militant could have an ulterior motive for making his claim.

      “Given the timing I would be very suspicious about his claim. I still don’t believe Hamas as an organisation and its upper echelons sanctioned the kidnappings – something that Israeli intelligence also believes,” he said.

      Lovatt said that al-Arouri may be trying to claim credit for the actions of others in an attempt to demonstrate his own continued sway in the West Bank and Hamas’s ability to hit Israel after failing to secure significant concessions after six weeks of violence in Gaza.

      “A second, more remote possibility, is that al-Arouri is telling the truth and that he has operated on his own initiative – a development with very worrying repercussions as it would imply a serious power struggle and splintering within Hamas,” he said.

    • Say that again? August 24, 2014, 2:39 AM

      “Separately, I’m sure you noticed the admission by Hamas that it orchestrated the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teenagers in June,”

      I’m sure you noticed that Meshal just gave an interview wherein he said “We were not aware of this action taken by this group of Hamas members in advance,”.

      In which case your claim that there has been an “admission by Hamas that it ORCHESTRATED the kidnapping” is clearly incorrect.

      I look forward to your correction on this issue, Melissa.

  • Oui August 24, 2014, 12:07 AM

    Auschwitz Survivor Dr. Hajo Meijer Passed Away at 90

    German born Hajo Meijer is an Auschwitz survivor, passed away at the age of 90. He was one of the Dutch founders of A Different Jewish Voice (EAJG) and a hero. He became very upset over Israel’s politics with Begin, Shamir and Sharon. He lived through the beginning of Nazi political power and refers to Israel’s leaders as Adolf Begin and Heinrich Sharon. The focus of the world should be on the plight of the Palestinian people. Much of the evil and unrest in Western Europe with the Muslims originates with oppression of the Palestinians. The security of the Middle East depends on it.

    May Dr. Meijer live on in our memory.
    We’ll miss his voice, may he rest in peace.

  • Arie Brand August 24, 2014, 12:35 AM

    This is an extract of the relevant Avnery article. Does Avnery have evidence for what he obviously believes to be a false flag operation? Well he says: “First it became known that an hour before the rockets came in, the Israeli population near Gaza was warned by the army to prepare their shelters and “safe spaces”.”

    Then there is also the rather strange fact that neither Hamas nor any other Palestinian fraction admitted that it had fired the rockets.

    Finally, the first target hit when the IDF resumed its slaughter was the house of Deil. But here is Avnery himself:

    The war was over. Families returned to their kibbutzim near Gaza. Kindergartens opened up again. A ceasefire was in force and extended again and again. Obviously, both sides were exhausted.

And then, suddenly, the war came back.
    What happened? Well, Hamas launched rockets against Beersheba in the middle of the ceasefire.
    Why? No why. You know how the terrorists are. Bloodthirsty. They can’t help it. Just like scorpions.
    But it is not so simple.
    The cairo talks were near success, or so it seemed. But Benjamin Netanyahu was in trouble. He hid the Egyptian draft agreement for a long ceasefire even from his cabinet colleagues. They learned about it only from the media, which disclosed it from Palestinian sources.
    Apparently, the draft said that the blockade would be greatly relaxed, if not officially ended. Talks about the building of a port and airport were to start within a month.
    What? What did Israel get out of this? After all the shooting and killing, with 64 Israeli soldiers dead, after all the grandiose speeches about our resounding victory, was that all? No wonder Netanyahu tried to hide the document.
    The Israeli delegation was called home without signing. The exasperated Egyptian mediators got another 24 hour extension of the ceasefire. It was to expire at midnight on Tuesday, but everybody on both sides expected it to be extended again and again. And then it happened.
    At about 16.00 hours, three rockets were fired at Beersheba and fell into open spaces. No warning sirens. Curiously enough, Hamas denied having launched them, and no other Palestinian organization took responsibility. This was strange. After every previous launching from Gaza, some Palestinian organization has always proudly claimed credit.
    As usual, Israeli airplanes promptly started to retaliate and bombed buildings in the Gaza Strip. As usual, rockets rained down on Israel. (I heard the interceptions in Tel Aviv).
    Business as usual? Not quite.
    First it became known that an hour before the rockets came in, the Israeli population near Gaza was warned by the army to prepare their shelters and “safe spaces”.
    Then it appeared that the first Gaza building hit belonged to the family of a Hamas military commander. Three people were killed, among them a baby and his mother.

    An assassination is a complicated operation. It requires a lot of time, expertise, patience and luck. The operators have to recruit informers near the victim, install electronic devices, obtain precise information about his every movement, execute their design within minutes once the opportunity presents itself.
    Because of this, there is no time for confirmation from above. Perhaps the Security Service (usually called Shin Bet) got permission from Netanyahu, its sole political chief, perhaps not.
    The White House immediately reacted to the resumption of hostilities by condemning the Hamas launching of rockets and reaffirming that “Israel has a right to defend itself”. The Western media parroted this line.
    For Netanyahu, whether he knew in advance of the assassination attempt or not, it was a way out of a dilemma. He was in the unfortunate position of many leaders in history who start a war and do not know how to get out of it.

    • Say that again? August 24, 2014, 2:45 AM

      Note the reference to “no sirens”?

      Odd indeed. I note at the time that the IDF was very, very defensive about that point, claiming that no sirens were sounded because the rockets were calculated to land in open ground.

      Maybe.

      Or maybe no sirens were sound because no rockets were actually fired……

      After all, simply because the IDF says so doesn’t make it true.

  • What August 29, 2014, 9:31 PM

    [comment deleted: comments whose only subject is complaining about how I edit the comment threads violate the comment rules. Comments must contain a substantive political point or argument and relate directly to the post.]

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