zaterdag 9 juni 2012
'Ik schrijf het met plezier op in dit krantje en realiseer me dat het wel eens een van de laatste keren kan zijn omdat NRC financieel wordt leeggetrokken door de aandeelhouders. Een supersocialist en een familie van textielboeren. Derk Sauer en de Brenninkmeijertjes. Grappige combinatie overigens. Er is terecht onrust op de redactie ontstaan. Volgens de hoofdredacteur was het afspraak en valt het mee. Ik denk het ook. En ik zal u zeggen waarom. Mijn vader heeft zijn leven lang bij C&A gewerkt en van hem hebben de Brenninkmeijers het beleggen geleerd. De oude Van ’t Hek heeft ze na de oorlog zo rijk gemaakt. Weet eigenlijk niet of hij wist dat ze goed fout waren in diezelfde oorlog. Ze waren rooms, sociaal en zeer goed voor hun personeel. Daarom komt het goed. Het geld van de Brenninkmeijertjes is te oud. En ze hebben te veel. Het zijn geen derivatencowboys. Zij zullen een instituut als dit niet om zeep helpen. In het nieuwe hoofdkantoor aan het Amsterdamse Rokin worden volgend jaar geen bloesjes en spijkerbroeken verkocht. Daar is de familie te beschaafd voor. En die Sauer? Die heeft dat geld toch ook niet nodig? Die gozer ziet scheel van de roebels. Daarbij moet hij de winst als echte SP’er volledig afdragen aan zijn kameraden Roemer en Marijnissen. Die geven het weer aan de armen, zodat die weer bij C&A kunnen kopen, waardoor zij de schamele winst van NRC niet nodig hebben.'
Nu gaat NRC-uitgever Derk Sauer er aan.
'Kasparov verweet Sauer dat hij met zijn glossy bladen Rusland uitbuit. „Voor u is Rusland business. Voor mij is het leven.” Een gevoelig punt voor SP-aanhanger Sauer, die Kasparov op zijn beurt een elitaire instelling verweet. Een handgemeen dreigde, gelukkig moest Kasparov snel naar de overkant voor de première van de aan hem gewijde documentaire In the Holy Fire of the Revolution in bioscoop Tuschinski.'
Tuesday 01 June 2010
Today, the Israeli military attacked a flotilla of international peace activists, killing as many as 19 innocent civilians while they were carrying ten tons of aid to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. This is not the first time the Israeli military has attacked a nonthreatening entity in international waters.
On June 8, 1967, while sailing in international waters, the US Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty was attacked by air and naval forces of the state of Israel. Of the Liberty's crew of 294, more than half were killed or wounded. More than 40 years later, survivors are still seeking justice.
The Israeli forces attacked with full knowledge that the Liberty was an American ship, yet survivors have been forbidden to tell their story under oath to the American public.
Joe Meadors was on the Liberty during the attack.
"I watched some jets pass us then turn left after they passed our ship, then they started strafing [attacking repeatedly with bombs or machine-gun fire from low-flying aircraft] us," Meadors told Truthout.
"I watched some jets pass us then turn left after they passed our ship, then they started strafing [attacking repeatedly with bombs or machine-gun fire from low-flying aircraft] us," Meadors told Truthout.
"The attack lasted 90 minutes, during which we got a message off to the 6th fleet asking for assistance, and we learned later, Joe Tully, commanding officer of the USS Saratoga, launched aircraft within minutes of the attack, but he told us later they were recalled before they reached the horizon. We found this out 20 years after the attack."
Meadors said he and his group, the USS Liberty Veterans Association, believe that Rear Adm. Lawrence Geis, the Sixth Fleet carrier division commander at the time of the attack, was following orders from Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who called off the Navy's rescue mission for the USS Liberty.
Meadors, along with other survivors of the attack, have been engaged in what has evolved into a more than 40-year struggle to find justice.
"The most frustrating thing has been a lack of reaction from the US government," Meadors explained, "On June 8, 2005 we filed a war crimes report, and they [the US Government] are required to investigate these allegations. They've created reports about our mission, but they never did conduct an actual investigation of the attack itself."
Meadors and the other veterans he works with to bring about a governmental investigation of the attack take the position that they should not have to force the government to do this.
In 2003, an independent commission of highly regarded experts was created to look into the matter. The Moorer Commission, named after its chairman, included Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, United States Navy (Ret.), former chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and Gen. Raymond G. Davis, United States Marine Corps and former assistant commandant of the Marine Corps.
Findings of this commission included: "Israel launched a two-hour air and naval attack against USS Liberty ... Israeli torpedo boats later returned to machine-gun at close range three of the Liberty's life rafts that had been lowered into the water by survivors to rescue the most seriously wounded ... Israel's attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew."
Ray McGovern is a senior CIA analyst who served under seven presidents - from John Kennedy to George H. W. Bush.
McGovern is clear about why he believes the US government continues to refuse to launch an investigation. "For the same reason that President Johnson called back the fighter/bombers; i.e., so as not to embarrass our friend Israel," McGovern explained to Truthout, "It is my view that the killing of 34 USS Liberty crew and wounded more than 170 others and the fact that the US Navy, Congress, executive branch not only prohibited the survivors to speak about it, but also launched faux 'inquiries,' is the poster child for what is wrong with the US relationship with Israel, showing the penchant of senior US officials to sacrifice honesty, justice, and US servicemen on the sacral altar of "compassionate attachment" to Israel."
McGovern added that, in his view, the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty is "the archetypical example of how Israel was given convincing affirmation of its belief that it can get away with murder, literally, and the US Gulliver would be bound to ignore it ... or even mount 'official' inquiries to explain it away."
Bryce Lockwood survived the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty and was awarded the Silver Star for his heroic actions during the attack, when he saved at least one wounded sailor's life.
Lockwood, like McGovern, feels there is no doubt whatsoever that the attack was no accident.
"It was deliberate," Lockwood told Truthout. He went on to explain why he thinks Moshe Dayan, who was appointed as Israel's Defense Minister in 1967, ordered the attack.
"I only learned recently, via a document released by the CIA, that Dayan ordered the attack, despite objections from his staff members," Lockwood explained, "Our ship had the capability of monitoring virtually everything ... all communications. The Israelis had nuclear capability, and it was extremely important to the Johnson administration that the Israelis not use the nuclear option. We could monitor all of this, even when it was done by the Israelis. The Israelis wanted unbridled use of the nuclear option, and they didn't want us to know about it ... that's why they attacked us."
Another reason why Lockwood is so certain that the attack was deliberate is because he watched Joe Meadors hoist three US flags up a pole in an attempt to insure the Israeli pilots knew they were firing on a US ship.
"The Israelis claim they didn't see a US flag, but they shot down two, and Joe raised three of them, since they kept firing on them," Lockwood explained, "They riddled the third with bullet holes, but it stayed up."
In addition, writing in his memoirs, Richard Helms, the director of Central Intelligence at the time of the attack, explained that the CIA undertook a "final" investigation after more evidence became available, and he offered the following information concerning the CIA's final finding:
"Israeli authorities subsequently apologized for the incident, but few in Washington could believe that the ship had not been identified as an American naval vessel. Later, an interim intelligence memorandum concluded the attack was a mistake and not made in malice against the US.... I had no role in the board of inquiry that followed, or the board's finding that there could be no doubt that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing in attacking the Liberty. I have yet to understand why it was felt necessary to attack this ship or who ordered the attack."
Meadors' and Lockwood's struggle to find justice spans decades, and there doesn't appear to be an end in sight.
Meadors is measured in his explanation of how he perceives the politics behind the lack of an investigation. "Politicians feel the Israeli lobby is so powerful, that if they do anything about this it will cost them votes. Nobody thinks it was a mistake, everybody knows it was deliberate. But they won't investigate it because they feel it would damage the relationship between the US and Israel."
Lockwood feels similarly. "Israel should be considered our friends, not our owners. But they consider themselves to be our owners. And they are probably right. Look at any congressman's campaign and political contributions, and go down the list, and near the top is going to be AIPAC for their contributors."
"I'm disgusted with our country and our representatives," Lockwood concluded, "My country doesn't give a damn about me or the people on the Liberty. I'm terribly disappointed in the way our country has dealt with us."
While both Meadors and Lockwood urge people to contact their Congressional representatives and demand an investigation, Meadors is moving ahead with looking for an attorney who will help the USS Liberty Veterans group to which he belongs determine if they have a course of action through federal courts.
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The Lavon Affair refers to a failed Israeli covert operation, code named Operation Susannah, conducted in Egypt in the Summer of 1954. As part of the false flag operation, a group of Egyptian Jews were recruited by Israeli military intelligence for plans to plant bombs inside Egyptian, American and British-owned targets. The attacks were to be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian Communists, "unspecified malcontents" or "local nationalists" with the aim of creating a climate of sufficient violence and instability to induce the British government to retain its occupying troops in Egypt's Suez Canal zone. The operation caused no casualties, except for those members of the cell who committed suicide after being captured.
The operation became known as the Lavon Affair after the Israeli defense minister Pinhas Lavon, who was forced to resign because of the incident, or euphemistically as the Unfortunate Affair or The Bad Business (Hebrew: העסק ביש, HaEsek Bish or העסק הביש, HaEsek HaBish). After being denied for 51 years, the surviving agents were in 2005 officially honored with a certificate of appreciation by the Israeli President Moshe Katzav.
In the early 1950s, the United States initiated a more activist policy of support for Egyptian nationalism; this was often in contrast with British policies of maintaining its regional hegemony. Israel feared that this policy, which encouraged Britain to withdraw its military forces from the Suez Canal, would embolden Egyptian President Nasser's military ambitions towards Israel. Israel first sought to influence this policy through diplomatic means but was frustrated.
In the summer of 1954 Colonel Binyamin Gibli, the chief of Israel's military intelligence, Aman, initiated Operation Susannah in order to reverse that decision. The goal of the Operation was to carry out bombings and other acts of espionage in Egypt with the aim of creating an atmosphere in which the British and American opponents of British withdrawal from Egypt would be able to gain the upper hand and block the British withdrawal from Egypt.
According to historian Shabtai Teveth, who wrote one of the more detailed accounts, the assignment was "To undermine Western confidence in the existing [Egyptian] regime by generating public insecurity and actions to bring about arrests, demonstrations, and acts of revenge, while totally concealing the Israeli factor. The team was accordingly urged to avoid detection, so that suspicion would fall on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Communists, 'unspecified malcontents' or 'local nationalists'."
The secret cell
The top-secret cell, Unit 131, which was to carry out the operation, had existed since 1948 and under Aman since 1950. At the time of Operation Susannah, Unit 131 was the subject of a bitter dispute between Aman (military intelligence) and Mossad (national intelligence agency) over who should control it.
Unit 131 operatives had been recruited several years before, when the Israeli intelligence officer Avram Dar arrived in Cairo undercover as a British citizen of Gibraltar called John Darling. He had recruited several Egyptian Jews who had previously been active in illegal emigration activities and trained them for covert operations.
Aman decided to activate the network in the Spring of 1954. On July 2, the cell firebombed a post office in Alexandria, and on July 14, it bombed the libraries of the U.S. Information Agency in Alexandria and Cairo and a British-owned theater. The homemade bombs, consisting of bags containing acid placed over nitroglycerine, were inserted into books, and placed on the shelves of the libraries just before closing time. Several hours later, as the acid ate through the bags, the bombs would explode. They did little damage to the targets and caused no injuries or deaths.
Before the group began the operation, Israeli agent Avri Elad (Avraham Zeidenberg) was sent to oversee the operations. Elad assumed the identity of Paul Frank, a former SS officer with Nazi underground connections. Avri Elad allegedly informed the Egyptians, resulting in the Egyptian Intelligence Service following a suspect to his target, the Rio Theatre, where a fire engine was standing by. Egyptian authorities arrested this suspect, Philip Natanson, when his bomb accidentally ignited prematurely in his pocket. Having searched his apartment, they found incriminating evidence and names of accomplices to the operation.
Several suspects were arrested, including Egyptian Jews and undercover Israelis. Colonel Dar and Elad had managed to escape. Two suspects, Yosef Carmon and Hungarian-born Israeli Meir Max Bineth committed suicide in prison.
Trials and jail
The Egyptian trial began on December 11 and lasted until January 27, 1955; two of the accused (Moshe Marzouk and Shmuel Azar) were condemned to execution by hanging, two were acquitted, and the rest receiving lengthy prison terms.
The trial was criticised in Israel as a show trial, although strict Israeli military censorship of the press, at the time, meant that the Israeli public was kept in the dark about the facts of the case and, in fact, were led to believe that the defendants were innocent. There were allegations that evidence had been extracted by torture.
After serving seven year jail sentences, two of the imprisoned operatives, Meir Meyuhas and Meir Za'afran, were released in 1962. The rest were eventually freed in February 1968, in a secret addendum to a prisoner of war exchange.
Soon after the affair, Mossad chief Isser Harel expressed suspicion to Aman concerning the integrity of Avri Elad. Despite his concerns, Aman continued using Elad for intelligence operations until 1956, when he was caught trying to sell Israeli documents to the Egyptians. Elad was tried in Israel and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. In 1980, Harel publicly revealed evidence that Elad had been turned by the Egyptians even before Operation Susannah.
Denial and first inquiry
In meetings with prime minister Moshe Sharett, minister of defense Pinhas Lavon denied any knowledge of the operation. When intelligence chief Gibli contradicted Lavon, Sharrett commissioned a board of inquiry consisting of Israeli Supreme Court Justice Isaac Olshan and the first chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Yaakov Dori that was unable to find conclusive evidence that Lavon had authorized the operation. Lavon tried to fix the blame on Shimon Peres, who was the secretary general of the defense ministry, and Gibli for insubordination and criminal negligence.
Sharett resolved the dilemma by siding with Peres, who along with Moshe Dayan testified against Lavon, after which Lavon resigned, 17 February 1955. Former prime minister David Ben-Gurion succeeded Lavon as minister of defense. A short time later, Sharett, who did not know about the operation in advance, and who had strongly denied Israel's involvement, resigned as Prime Minister and was replaced by Ben-Gurion.
Subsequent revelations and inquiries
In April 1960, a review of minutes from the inquiry found inconsistencies and possibly a fraudulent document in Gibli's original testimony that seemed to support Lavon's account of events. During this time, it also came to light that Elad (the Israeli agent running Operation Susannah in Egypt), had committed perjury during the original inquiry. Elad was also suspected of betraying the group to Egyptian authorities; though the charges were never proven, he was eventually sentenced to a jail term of 10 years. Ben-Gurion scheduled closed hearings with a new board of inquiry chaired by Haim Cohn, a supreme court justice.
This inquiry found that the perjury indeed had been committed, and that Lavon had not authorized the operation. Sharett and Levi Eshkol tried to issue a statement that would placate both Lavon and those who had opposed him. Ben-Gurion refused to accept the compromise and viewed it as a divisive play within the Mapai party.
Another investigative committee took up the matter and sided with the Cohn inquiry. Ben-Gurion then resigned from his post as defense minister. This led to the expulsion of Lavon from the Histadrut labor union and an early call for new elections which changed the political structure in Israel. The specifics of Operation Susannah were kept secret from the Israeli public at the time of the political upheaval.
Due to Israel's strict Military Censorship the details of the affair could not be openly discussed in the media. Despite this, debate did occur but with the use of code words such as the "Senior Officer", to refer to Gibli, and the "unfortunate business" to refer to the Egyptian operation.
Operation Susannah and the Lavon Affair turned out to be disastrous for Israel in several ways:
▪ Israel lost significant standing and credibility in its relations with the United Kingdom and the United States that would take years to repair. (The encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli conflict: a political, social, and military history. ABC-CLIO, 2008. p. 610)
▪ The political aftermath caused considerable political turmoil in Israel that affected the influence of its government. (Beinin, Joel. The dispersion of Egyptian Jewry: culture, politics, and the formation of a modern diaspora, AUC Press. 2005. p. 111)
In March 2005, Israel publicly honored the surviving operatives, and President Moshe Katsav presented each with a certificate of appreciation for their efforts on behalf of the state, ending decades of official denial by Israel.
1. ^ Global terrorism James M. Lutz, Brenda J. Lutz 2004 ISBN 0-415-70051-5 pp46,Retrieved 7 June 2011
2. ^ a b S. Teveth, Ben-Gurion's spy: the story of the political scandal that shaped modern Israel. Columbia University Press, 1996, ISBN 978-0-231-10464-7, p.81.
4. ^ Hahn, Peter L (2004). United States, Great Britain, and Egypt, 1945-1956: Strategy and Diplomacy. UNC Press. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-8078-1942-5. "In late 1954, the Anglo-Egyptian base agreement and American plans to promote a Northern tier security arrangement generated tension between Israel and Egypt. Israeli officials feared that British troop withdrawal from the Canal zone ... would encourage Egyptian aggressiveness toward Israel and remove Western leverage to modify Egyptian behavior on issues such as Suez Canal restrictions"
5. ^ Lappin, Yaakov (08/20/2008). "Binyamin Gibli, Lavon Affair figure, dies at 89". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
6. ^ Black, Ian; Morris, Benny (1 June 1992). Israel's secret wars: a history of Israel's intelligence services. Grove Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-8021-3286-4. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
7. ^ Shlaim, Avi (2000). The Iron Wall. Penguin Books. pp. 117–119. ISBN 978-0-14-028870-4. "Sharett knew that a death sentence would have a disastrous effect at home because the Israeli public had been led to believe that the defendants were innocent"
9. ^ e.g. Teveth, Shabtai (1974) Moshe Dayan. The soldier, the man, the legend. Quartet Books. ISBN 0-7043-1080-5. Pages 265,266. Still used twenty years later.
10. ^ "After half a century of reticence and recrimination, Israel ... honored ... agents-provocateur." Reuters, 30th March 2005. Accessed 2nd July 2007.
▪ Aviezer Golan, Ninio Marcelle, Victor Levy, Robert Dassa and Philip Natanson (As told to Aviezer Golan) (Translated from Hebrew by Petretz Kidron) (Fwd by Golda Meir): Operation Susannah, Harper & Row, NYC, 1978 ISBN 978-0-06-011555-5
▪ Joel Beinin: Nazis and Spies The Discourse of Operation Susannah, ch 4 in The Dispersion Of Egyptian Jewry Culture, Politics, And The Formation Of A Modern Diaspora Berkeley: University of California Press, c1998. Amer Univ in Cairo Pr, 2005, ISBN 978-977-424-890-0
▪ Joel Beinin: Egyptian Jewish Identities. Communitarianisms, nationalisms, nostalgias Stanford Humanities Review, 1996
▪ Ostrovsky, Victor; Hoy, Claire (1991). By way of deception. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-92614-4.
▪ The Lavon Affair by Doron Geller, JUICE, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Education Department
▪ The Lavon Affair by David Hirst, Excerpts from his book: The Gun and the Olive Branch, 1977, 1984, Futura Publications
▪ The Lavon Affair including quotes from Moshe Sharett’s Diary