zaterdag 22 januari 2022

Waarom Verzwijgt het CIDI Zionistische Bloedbaden?

 

There’s a Mass Palestinian Grave at a Popular Israeli Beach, Veterans Confess

There’s a Mass Palestinian Grave at a Popular Israeli Beach, Veterans Confess

Aerial view of Dor beach and its parking lot in Israel, built over the mass grave of the Palestinian massacre victims of Tantura, 1948.

“I was a murderer. I didn’t take prisoners,” admitted an Israeli combat soldier present for the June 1948 massacre in the Palestinian town of Tantura. “I had a machine gun with 250 bullets. I can’t say how many [I killed].”

by Adam Raz, reposted from Ha’aretz, January 20, 2022

“They silenced it,” the former combat soldier Moshe Diamant says, trying to be spare with his words. “It mustn’t be told, it could cause a whole scandal. I don’t want to talk about it, but it happened. What can you do? It happened.”

Twenty-two years have passed since the furor erupted over the account of what occurred during the conquest by Israeli troops of the village of Tantura, north of Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast, in the War of Independence. The controversy sprang up in the wake of a master’s thesis written by an Israeli graduate student named Theodore Katz, that contained testimony about atrocities perpetrated by the Alexandroni Brigade against Arab prisoners of war.

The thesis led to the publication of an article in the newspaper Maariv headlined “The Massacre at Tantura.” Ultimately, a libel suit filed against Katz by veterans of the brigade induced him to retract his account of a massacre.

For years, Katz’s findings were archived, and discussion of the episode took the form of a professional debate between historians. Until now. Now, at the age of 90 and up, a number of combat soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces’ brigade have admitted that a massacre did indeed take place in 1948 at Tantura – today’s popular Dor Beach, adjacent to Kibbutz Nahsholim.

The former soldiers describe different scenes in different ways, and the number of villagers who were shot to death can’t be established. The numbers arising from the testimonies range from a handful who were killed, to many dozens. According to one testimony, provided by a resident of Zichron Yaakov who helped bury the victims, the number of dead exceeded 200, though this high figure does not have corroboration.

Tantura massacre confessions

According to Diamant, speaking now, villagers were shot to death by a “savage” using a submachine gun, at the conclusion of the battle. He adds that in connection with the libel suit in 2000, the former soldiers tacitly understood that they would pretend that nothing unusual had occurred after the village’s conquest. “We didn’t know, we didn’t hear. Of course everyone knew. They all knew.”

Another combat soldier, Haim Levin, now relates that a member of the unit went over to a group of 15 or 20 POWs “and killed them all.” Levin says he was appalled, and he spoke to his buddies to try to find out what was going on. “You have no idea how many [of us] those guys have killed,” he was told.

Tantura residents flee their village, May 1948. Dozens of others may have been killed in a massacre
Tantura residents flee their village, May 1948. Dozens of others may have been killed. (Benno Rothenberg / Meitar Collection, Pritzker Family National Photography Collection, National Library of Israel)

Another combat soldier in the brigade, Micha Vitkon, talked about an officer “who in later years was a big man in the Defense Ministry. With his pistol he killed one Arab after another. He was a bit disturbed, and that was a symptom of his disturbance.” According to Vitkon, the soldier did what he did because the prisoners refused to divulge where they had hidden the remaining weapons in the village.

Another combat soldier described a different incident that occurred there: “It’s not nice to say this. They put them into a barrel and shot them in the barrel. I remember the blood in the barrel.” One of the soldiers summed up by saying that the his comrades-in-arms simply didn’t behave like human beings in the village – and then resumed his silence.

Coerced apology for truth-telling about Tantura massacre

These and other testimonies appear in an impressive documentation project of the director Alon Schwarz. His documentary film “Tantura,” which will be screened twice this weekend online as part of the Sundance Film festival in Utah, would seem to undo the version that took root following the libel suit and Katz’s apology.

Even though the testimonies of the soldiers in the film (some of them recorded by Katz, some by Schwarz) were given in broken sentences, in fragments of confessions, the overall picture is clear: Soldiers in the Alexandroni Brigade massacred unarmed men after the battle had concluded.

In fact, the testimony Katz collected was not presented to the court during the libel trial, which was settled midway through the proceedings. Listening to those recordings suggests that if the court had probed them at the time, Katz would not have been impelled to apologize. Often what the soldiers told him was only hinted at and partial, but together it added up to an unequivocal truth.

“What do you want?” asked Shlomo Ambar, who would rise to the rank of brigadier general and head of Civil Defense, the forerunner of today’s Home Front Command. “For me to be a delicate soul and speak in poetry? I moved aside. That’s all. Enough.” Ambar, speaking in the film, made it clear that the events in the village had not been to his liking, “but because I didn’t speak out then, there is no reason for me to talk about it today.”

Tantura residents flee their village, May 1948.
Tantura residents flee their village, May 1948. (Benno Rothenberg / Meitar Collection, Pritzker Family National Photography Collection, National Library of Israel)

One of the grimmest testimonies in Schwarz’s film is that of Amitzur Cohen, who talked about his first months as a combat soldier in the war: “I was a murderer. I didn’t take prisoners.” Cohen relates that if a squad of Arab soldiers was standing with their hands raised, he would shoot them all. How many Arabs did he kill outside the framework of the battles? “I didn’t count. I had a machine gun with 250 bullets. I can’t say how many.”

The Alexandroni Brigade soldiers’ testimonies join past written testimony provided by Yosef Ben-Eliezer. “I was one of the soldiers involved in the conquest of Tantura,” Ben-Eliezer wrote, some two decades ago. “I was aware of the murder in the village. Some of the soldiers did the killing at their own independent initiative.”

Mass grave: “They took care to hide it”

The testimonies and documents that Schwarz collected for his film indicate that after the massacre the victims were buried in a mass grave, which is now under the Dor Beach parking lot. The grave was dug especially for this purpose, and the burial went on for more than a week.

At the end of May 1948, a week after the village was conquered, and two weeks after the declaration of statehood, one of the commanders who was posted at the site was reprimanded for not having dealt properly with the burial of the Arabs’ bodies.

On June 9, the commander of the adjacent base reported: “Yesterday I checked the mass grave in Tantura cemetery. Found everything in order.”

In addition to the testimonies and documents, the film presents the conclusion of experts who compared aerial photographs of the village from before and after its conquest. A comparison of the photographs, and the use of three-dimensional imaging done with new tools, makes it possible not only to determine the exact location of the grave but also to estimate its dimensions: 35 meters long, 4 meters wide.

“They took care to hide it,” Katz says in the film, “in such a way that the coming generations would walk there without knowing what they were stepping on.”

A note dated June 9, 1948, says regarding site of massacre: "To the region commander. Yesterday I checked the mass grave in Tantura cemetery. Found everything in order.”
A note dated June 9, 1948, says regarding site of massacre: “To the region commander. Yesterday I checked the mass grave in Tantura cemetery. Found everything in order.” (IDF Archives)

“Disqualified”

The confession of the Alexandroni Brigade troops casts a new light on the dismal attempt to silence Teddy Katz.

In March 1998, while a graduate student at the University of Haifa, Katz submitted a master’s thesis to the department of Middle Eastern history. Its title: “The Exodus of the Arabs from the Villages at the Foot of Southern Mount Carmel in 1948.”

Katz, then in his fifties, received a grade of 97. According to custom, the paper was deposited in the university’s library, and the author intended to proceed to doctoral studies. But his plan went awry.

In January 2000, journalist Amir Gilat borrowed the study from the library and published an article about the massacre in Maariv. It touched off a firestorm.

Besides the libel suit initiated by the Alexandroni veterans association, the university also went into a tizzy, and decided to set up a committee to reexamine the M.A. thesis.

Even though the original reviewers found that Katz had completed the thesis with excellence, and even though the paper was based on dozens of documented testimonies – of Jewish soldiers and Arab refugees from Tantura – the new committee decided to disqualify the thesis.

Katz’s paper is not fault-free, but probably the primary target of criticism is the University of Haifa, which accompanied the research and the writing in a deficient manner, and after approving it then reversed course and disowned its student. That made possible the years-long silencing and repression of the bloody events in Tantura.

For Katz, one court hearing was all it took for him to sign a letter of apology in which he declared that there had not been a massacre in the village and that his thesis was flawed. The fact that just hours later he retracted this, and that his lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, was not present at the nighttime meeting in which Katz came under pressure to recant, was forgotten. The apology buried the findings the thesis had uncovered, and the details of the massacre were thereafter not subjected to comprehensive scrutiny.

Was Tantura a massacre? Historians’ opinions

The historians who addressed the episode – from Yoav Gelber to Benny Morris and Ilan Pappé – reached different and contradictory conclusions. Gelber, who played a key role in the struggle to discredit Katz’s paper, asserted that a few dozen Arabs had been killed in the battle itself, but that a massacre had not occurred.

Morris, for his part, thought that it was impossible to determine unequivocally what happened, but wrote that after reading several of the testimonies and interviewing some of the Alexandroni veterans, he “came away with a deep sense of unease.”

Pappé, who engaged in a highly publicized debate with Gelber over Katz’s thesis, determined that a massacre had been perpetrated in Tantura in the straightforward sense of the word. Now, with the appearance of the testimony in Schwarz’s film, the debate would seem to be decided.

Dor beach and its parking lot in Israel, built over the mass grave of the Tantura massacre victims.
Dor beach and its parking lot in Israel, built over the mass grave of the Tantura massacre victims. (Tomer Appelbaum)

In one of the more dramatic scenes in the documentary, Drora Pilpel, who was the judge in the libel suit against Katz, listens to a recording of one of Katz’s interviews. It was the first time she had encountered the testimony collected by Katz, whose speedy apology brought the trial to a quick end. “If it’s true, it’s a pity,” the retired judge tells the director after removing her headphones. “If he had things like this, he should have gone all the way to the end.”

Time to stop pretending

The Tantura [massacre] affair exemplifies the difficulty that soldiers in the 1948 war had in acknowledging the bad behavior that was on display in that war: acts of murder, violence against Arab residents, expulsion and looting. To listen to the soldiers’ testimony today, while considering the uniform stand they demonstrated when they sued Katz, is to grasp the potency of the conspiracy of silence and the consensus that there are things one doesn’t talk about.

It’s to be hoped that from the perspective of years, such subjects will be more readily addressed. A possibly encouraging sign in this direction is the fact that the film about Tantura received funding from such mainstream bodies as the Hot cable network and the New Fund for Cinema and Television.

A possibly encouraging sign in this direction is the fact that the film about Tantura received funding from such mainstream bodies as the Hot cable network and the New Fund for Cinema and Television.

The grim events at Tantura will never be completely investigated, the full truth will not be known. However, there is one thing that can be asserted with a great deal of certainty: Under the parking lot of one of the most familiar and beloved Israeli resort sites on the Mediterranean, lie the remains of the victims of one of the glaring massacres of the War of Independence.


Adam Raz is a researcher at the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research. The Akevot Institute assisted the filmmaker (without remuneration).


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John Pilger on Ukraine: An Enemy is Essential for US & Its Vassals!

 

John Pilger on Ukraine, US tensions with Russia & China: An Enemy is Essential for US & Its Vassals!

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US Risked Killing Thousands of Civilians in Syria

 

US Bombed Syria Dam on ‘No-Strike List,’ Risked Killing Thousands of Civilians

Syria’s largest dam was supposed to be off-limits during the U.S.-led war against the Islamic State, but nearly five years ago, the Pentagon bombed it anyway, jeopardizing tens of thousands of civilians’ lives, the New York Times reported Thursday.

The Tabqa Dam is a massive, 18-story structure on the Euphrates River that holds back a 25-mile-long reservoir above a valley home to hundreds of thousands of people. It was also “a strategic linchpin” controlled by the Islamic State, the newspaper noted.

On March 26, 2017, a series of explosions battered the dam, knocking workers to the ground and sparking a power outage, fire, and equipment failures. As the reservoir began to rise, local authorities urged people living downstream to flee. The entire dam could have failed, experts say, had one of the bombs not been a dud.

Following the attack, Dave Philipps, Azmat Khan, and Eric Schmitt reported for the Times:

The Islamic State, the Syrian government, and Russia blamed the United States, but the dam was on the U.S. military’s “no-strike list” of protected civilian sites and the commander of the U.S. offensive at the time, then-Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, said allegations of U.S. involvement were based on “crazy reporting.”

“The Tabqa Dam is not a coalition target,” he declared emphatically two days after the blasts.

In fact, members of a top secret U.S. Special Operations unit called Task Force 9 had struck the dam using some of the largest conventional bombs in the U.S. arsenal, including at least one BLU-109 bunker-buster bomb designed to destroy thick concrete structures, according to two former senior officials. And they had done it despite a military report warning not to bomb the dam, because the damage could cause a flood that might kill tens of thousands of civilians. 

The revelation of Task Force 9’s role in the assault on the Tabqa Dam follows a pattern described in previous Times’ investigations. As the newspaper noted on Thursday, “The unit routinely circumvented the rigorous airstrike approval process and hit Islamic State targets in Syria in a way that repeatedly put civilians at risk.”

Phillips, Khan, and Schmitt reported:

In response to questions from theTimes, U.S. Central Command, which oversaw the air war in Syria, acknowledged dropping three 2,000-pound bombs, but denied targeting the dam or sidestepping procedures. A spokesman said that the bombs hit only the towers attached to the dam, not the dam itself, and while top leaders had not been notified beforehand, limited strikes on the towers had been preapproved by the command.

“Analysis had confirmed that strikes on the towers attached to the dam were not considered likely to cause structural damage to the Tabqa Dam itself,” Capt. Bill Urban, the chief spokesman for the command, said in the statement. Noting that the dam did not collapse, he added, “That analysis has proved accurate.” 

However, Syrian witnesses interviewed by the Times, and two former U.S. officials who were directly involved in the air war at the time, said the situation was far graver than the Pentagon let on.

According to the newspaper:

Critical equipment lay in ruins and the dam stopped functioning entirely. The reservoir quickly rose 50 feet and nearly spilled over the dam, which engineers said would have been catastrophic. The situation grew so desperate that authorities at dams upstream in Turkey cut water flow into Syria to buy time, and sworn enemies in the yearslong conflict—the Islamic State, the Syrian government, Syrian Defense Forces, and the United States—called a rare emergency cease-fire so civilian engineers could race to avert a disaster.

Engineers who worked at the dam, who did not want to be identified because they feared reprisal, said it was only through quick work, much of it made at gunpoint as opposing forces looked on, that the dam and the people living downstream of it were saved.

“The destruction would have been unimaginable,” said a former director at the dam. “The number of casualties would have exceeded the number of Syrians who have died throughout the war.”

At least 95,000 civilians have died in Syria as a direct result of the ongoing conflict, according to the Costs of War Project at Brown University.

Journalist Ben Norton argued that “the U.S. military intentionally bombed a dam in Syria that was on its ‘no-strike list’ of protected civilian sites, because it knew it could kill tens of thousands.”

Debunking Pentagon officials’ claims that they target militants with precision, a report released in September by Airwars — a military watchdog that monitors and seeks to reduce civilian harm in violent conflict zones — found that airstrikes conducted by the U.S. killed between 22,000 and 48,000 civilians during the first two decades of the so-called “War on Terror” pursued in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria were home to 97% of those casualties.

Meanwhile, “no disciplinary action was taken against” Task Force 9, theTimes reported Thursday. “The secret unit continued to strike targets using the same types of self-defense justifications it had used on the dam.”

“While the dam was still being repaired, the task force sent a drone over the community next to the dam,” wrote Phillips, Khan, and Schmitt. “As the drone circled, three of the civilian workers who had rushed to save the dam finished their work and piled into a small van and headed back toward their homes.”

“More than a mile away from the dam, the van was hit by a coalition airstrike,” they added. “A mechanical engineer, a technician, and a Syrian Red Crescent worker were killed.”

Although Airwars reported these civilian deaths when they occurred in 2017, they have never been officially acknowledged by the U.S. military.


Syria’s largest dam was supposed to be off-limits during the U.S.-led war against the Islamic State, but nearly five years ago, the Pentagon bombed it anyway, jeopardizing tens of thousands of civilians’ lives, the New York Times reported Thursday.

The Tabqa Dam is a massive, 18-story structure on the Euphrates River that holds back a 25-mile-long reservoir above a valley home to hundreds of thousands of people. It was also “a strategic linchpin” controlled by the Islamic State, the newspaper noted.

On March 26, 2017, a series of explosions battered the dam, knocking workers to the ground and sparking a power outage, fire, and equipment failures. As the reservoir began to rise, local authorities urged people living downstream to flee. The entire dam could have failed, experts say, had one of the bombs not been a dud.

Following the attack, Dave Philipps, Azmat Khan, and Eric Schmitt reported for the Times:

The Islamic State, the Syrian government, and Russia blamed the United States, but the dam was on the U.S. military’s “no-strike list” of protected civilian sites and the commander of the U.S. offensive at the time, then-Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, said allegations of U.S. involvement were based on “crazy reporting.”

“The Tabqa Dam is not a coalition target,” he declared emphatically two days after the blasts.

In fact, members of a top secret U.S. Special Operations unit called Task Force 9 had struck the dam using some of the largest conventional bombs in the U.S. arsenal, including at least one BLU-109 bunker-buster bomb designed to destroy thick concrete structures, according to two former senior officials. And they had done it despite a military report warning not to bomb the dam, because the damage could cause a flood that might kill tens of thousands of civilians. 

The revelation of Task Force 9’s role in the assault on the Tabqa Dam follows a pattern described in previous Times’ investigations. As the newspaper noted on Thursday, “The unit routinely circumvented the rigorous airstrike approval process and hit Islamic State targets in Syria in a way that repeatedly put civilians at risk.”

Phillips, Khan, and Schmitt reported:

In response to questions from theTimes, U.S. Central Command, which oversaw the air war in Syria, acknowledged dropping three 2,000-pound bombs, but denied targeting the dam or sidestepping procedures. A spokesman said that the bombs hit only the towers attached to the dam, not the dam itself, and while top leaders had not been notified beforehand, limited strikes on the towers had been preapproved by the command.

“Analysis had confirmed that strikes on the towers attached to the dam were not considered likely to cause structural damage to the Tabqa Dam itself,” Capt. Bill Urban, the chief spokesman for the command, said in the statement. Noting that the dam did not collapse, he added, “That analysis has proved accurate.” 

However, Syrian witnesses interviewed by the Times, and two former U.S. officials who were directly involved in the air war at the time, said the situation was far graver than the Pentagon let on.

According to the newspaper:

Critical equipment lay in ruins and the dam stopped functioning entirely. The reservoir quickly rose 50 feet and nearly spilled over the dam, which engineers said would have been catastrophic. The situation grew so desperate that authorities at dams upstream in Turkey cut water flow into Syria to buy time, and sworn enemies in the yearslong conflict—the Islamic State, the Syrian government, Syrian Defense Forces, and the United States—called a rare emergency cease-fire so civilian engineers could race to avert a disaster.

Engineers who worked at the dam, who did not want to be identified because they feared reprisal, said it was only through quick work, much of it made at gunpoint as opposing forces looked on, that the dam and the people living downstream of it were saved.

“The destruction would have been unimaginable,” said a former director at the dam. “The number of casualties would have exceeded the number of Syrians who have died throughout the war.”

At least 95,000 civilians have died in Syria as a direct result of the ongoing conflict, according to the Costs of War Project at Brown University.

Journalist Ben Norton argued that “the U.S. military intentionally bombed a dam in Syria that was on its ‘no-strike list’ of protected civilian sites, because it knew it could kill tens of thousands.”

Debunking Pentagon officials’ claims that they target militants with precision, a report released in September by Airwars — a military watchdog that monitors and seeks to reduce civilian harm in violent conflict zones — found that airstrikes conducted by the U.S. killed between 22,000 and 48,000 civilians during the first two decades of the so-called “War on Terror” pursued in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria were home to 97% of those casualties.

Meanwhile, “no disciplinary action was taken against” Task Force 9, theTimes reported Thursday. “The secret unit continued to strike targets using the same types of self-defense justifications it had used on the dam.”

“While the dam was still being repaired, the task force sent a drone over the community next to the dam,” wrote Phillips, Khan, and Schmitt. “As the drone circled, three of the civilian workers who had rushed to save the dam finished their work and piled into a small van and headed back toward their homes.”

“More than a mile away from the dam, the van was hit by a coalition airstrike,” they added. “A mechanical engineer, a technician, and a Syrian Red Crescent worker were killed.”

Although Airwars reported these civilian deaths when they occurred in 2017, they have never been officially acknowledged by the U.S. military.

CIA in Ukraine, directing proxy war on Russia

  CIA and Western special  ops commandos are in  Ukraine, directing proxy  war on Russia The CIA and special operations forces from Britain,...