Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem

CHAPTER THIRTY SIX — Part 1 of 3

THE CRIMES AGAINST PEACE COMMITTED BY ISRAELI LEADERS IN THE 1956 WAR, THE 1967 WAR AND THE WARS AGAINST LEBANON IN 1978 AND 1982

The political and military leaders of Israel from 1948 to 1989 are hereby accused as guilty of crimes against peace, namely conspiracy, planning, preparing, initiating and waging wars of aggression against the Palestinians and the Arab States of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. The unimpeachable facts constituting these crimes against peace are contained in the diaries of Moshe Sharett, former Prime Minister of Israel, translated by Livia Rokach, and in an article published by an official organ of the World Zionist Organization entitled The Strategy of Israel in the Nineteen Eighties. Their guilt is proved by the wars of aggression they waged in 1956, 1967, 1978 and in 1982.

ISRAEL'S STRATEGY: CONSTANT AGGRESSION AND WAR AGAINST THE ARABS

In her book, Israel's Sacred Terrorism, Livia Rokach reviewed the diaries of Moshe Sharett, whose name originally was Moshe Shertok. From 1933 to 1948, Sharett was head of the Jewish Agency's political department. From 1948 to 1956, he was Foreign Minister, and from 1954 to 1955, he was Prime Minister. In his diaries, Sharett exposed Israel's strategy of aggression and war. Livia Rokach summarizes this strategy as follows:

1. The Israeli political/military establishment aimed at pushing the Arab states into military confrontations which the Israeli leaders were invariably certain of winning. The goal of these confrontations was to modify the balance of power in the region radically, transforming the Zionist State into the major power in the Middle East.

2. In order to achieve this strategic purpose, Israeli leaders carried out large and small-scale military operations aimed at civilian populations across the armistice lines, especially in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, then under the control of Jordan and Egypt respectively. These operations had a double purpose: to terrorize the populations, and to create a permanent destabilization stemming from tensions between the Arab governments and the populations who felt they were not adequately protected against Israeli aggression.

3. The objectives of the Israeli leaders were to achieve a new territorial conquest through war. They were not satisfied with the size of the state, and sought to occupy at least the borders of Palestine under the mandate.

4. They made political and military plans to disperse the Palestine refugees in order to liquidate the claim of these refugees to be allowed to go back to their homeland.

5. They planned and carried out subversive operations designed to dismember the Arab World, defeat the Arab National Movement, and create puppet regimes which would gravitate to the regional Israeli power. (1)

Livia Rokach states that four years after the 1948/49 war,

... the security establishment was ready with plans for Israel's territorial expansion. (The armistice lines established in Rhodes, although traced so as to enable the Zionists to occupy over a third more than the territory proposed by the U.N. partition resolution in 1947, were considered unsatisfactory by the army, which aspired to recover at least the boundaries of mandate Palestine.) Ben Gurion had already theorized about the necessity for Israel to become the regional power in the Middle East. Toward the realization of this goal a strategy for the destabilization of the region had also been drawn. Operatively, its pivot for the next quarter of a century was to be the political-military policy known under the false name of "retaliation". The international conditions for the implementation of this strategic design, though, had yet to be prepared. (2)

Livia Rokach quotes from the diaries of Moshe Sharett about the meeting of the Israeli Cabinet on October 19, 1953:

Ben Gurion talked ... about the army's preparation for the danger of a second round. He talked for about two and a half hours ... he presented detailed and precise - and also worrisome - figures on the growth of military power and the strength of their armament and set three directions in their preparation "for an attack on Israel ... in these three directions the Arabs will reach the longed-for peak in 1956." (3)

Again, Sharett in his diaries of March, 1954, refers to the aggressive plans of the military. He stated:

I said (to Teddy Kollek, then senior aide in the Prime Minister's Office, today mayor of Jerusalem): here we are, back at the point of departure -are we headed for war or do we want to prevent war? According to Teddy the army leadership is imbued with war appetites ....( They are) completely blind to economic problems and to the complexities of international relations." (4)

In 1955, the United States offered a security pact for Israel, but it was rejected. According to Rokach, "The security pact offered by the U.S., however, had to be rejected, because - as Dayan explained in April 1955 - 'it would put handcuffs on our military freedom of action.' He went into a detailed explanation on May 26, during a meeting with Israel's ambassadors in Washington (Abba Eban), Paris (Ya'acov Tsur) and London (Eliahu Eilat)." Ya'acob Herzog and Gideon Raphael then reported the conversation to Sharett, who recorded it in his diary as follows:

We do not need (Dayan said) a security pact with theU.S.: such a pact will only constitute an obstacle for us. We face no danger at all of an Arab advantage of force for the next 8-10 years. Even if they receive massive military aid from the West, we shall maintain our military superiority thanks to our infinitely greater capacity to assimilate new armaments. The security pact will only handcuff us and deny us the freedom of action which we need in the coming years. Reprisal actions which we couldn't carry out if we were tied to a security pact are our vital lymph ... they made it possible for us to maintain a high level of tension among our population and in the army. Without these actions we would have ceased to be a combative people and without the discipline of a combative people we are lost. We have to cry out that the Negev is in danger, so that young men will go there ....

The conclusions from Dayan's words are clear: This State has no international obligations, no economic problems, and the question of peace is nonexistent .... It must calculate its steps narrow-mindedly and live on its sword. It must see the sword as the main, if not the only, instrument with which to keep its morale high and to retain its moral tension. Toward this end it may, no - it must - invent dangers, and to do this it must adopt the method of provocation-and-revenge .... And above all - let us hope for a new war with the Arab countries, so that we may finally get rid of our troubles and acquire our space. (Such a slip of the tongue: Ben Gurion himself said that it would be worthwhile to pay an Arab a million pounds to start a war.) (5)

Sharett in his Diary refers to the terrorist plans contemplated by the Israeli military:

Isser Harel, head of the Shin Bet (stung at the time because the "Lavon Affair" had been conducted by the Military Intelligence, without coordination with Shin Bet) told me hairraising stories about a conversation Givli (Chief of Military Intelligence) initiated with him in which he proposed to abduct Egyptians, not only from the Gaza Strip, but also in Cyprus and Europe. He also proposed a crazy plan to blow up the Egyptian Embassy in Amman in case of death sentences in the Cairo trial. (6)

To Aharon Barkatt, then secretary general of Mapai, Sharett described Israel's security establishment as follows:

Dayan was ready to hijack planes and kidnap (Arab) officers from trains, but he was shocked by Lavon's suggestion about the Gaza Strip. Maklef (who preceded Dayan as Chief of Staff) demanded a free hand to murder Shishakly but he was shaken when Lavon gave him acrazy order concerning the Syrian DMZ .... (7)

He (Lavon) inspired and cultivated the negative adventuristic trend in the army and preached the doctrine that not the Arab countries but the Western Powers are the enemy, and the only way to deter them from their plots is through direct actions that will terrorize them. (8)

Livia Rokach refers to Moshe Sharett as a "moderate" and compares him with more extreme leaders of the time. She states:

As a so-called moderate Zionist, Moshe Sharett's lifelong assumption had been that Israel's survival would be impossible without the support of the West, but that Western so-called morality as well as Western objective interests in the Middle East would never allow the West to support a Jewish state which "behaves according to the laws of the jungle" and raises terrorism to the level of a sacred principle. To prominent Mapai leader David Hacohen, who declared himself convinced that the Israelis should behave in the Middle East as if they were crazy in order to terrorize the Arabs and blackmail the West, he replied: If we shall behave like madmen, we shall be treated as such - interned in a lunatic asylum and isolated from the world. But his adversaries proved him wrong, thereby dealing a crushing blow to his personality as well as to the very hypothesis of moderate Zionism. (9)

Having expelled the Palestinians from the areas they occupied in 1948, the Zionists were planning to disperse the Palestine refugees still further into the Arab world. They wanted them to be wholly dispersed and sent to Libya or Iraq. Livia Rokach states:

One important reason for the insistence with which Israel pursued its retaliation policy was the desire of the Zionist ruling establishment to exert permanent pressure on the Arab states to remove the Palestinian refugees of the 1948 war from the proximity of the armistice lines, and to disperse them through the Arab world. This was not due, in the early fifties, to military considerations. As Dayan's quotation clearly demonstrates, the Israeli government was more interested in the heightening of border tensions than in their elimination. Furthermore, its lack of concern for the security of the Jewish border population was as cynical as its own promotion of a sensation of danger among the settlers through provocation and false propaganda. Moreover, in those years no organized Palestinian resistance movement existed. It was all too obvious that the low level of guerrilla-type activities permitted by the Arab regimes was intended more to reduce the tensions created inside their countries through the presence of the refugees, and to keep the issue on the agenda in the international arena, than to prepare for a war of liberation in Palestine. But the presence of the Palestinian refugees along the armistice lines - in Gaza and the West Bank - was not only a constant reminder of the illegitimacy of Israel's territorial conquests in 1948-49 and of its violation of UN resolutions calling for repatriation, it was also a living, physical landmark along borders which Israel had no intention of accepting as definite limits to its territorial expansion. In other words, so long as masses of Palestinians were still concentrated on Palestinian soil, the Israeli rulers argued, there was both the risk of international pressure in support of their claim to return to their homes, and little likelihood for international permission for Israel to cancel the geopolitical concept of Palestine entirely, substituting it with that of "Eretz-Israel." (10)

Moshe Sharett confirms this in his diary:

The first round would be: Israel aggressively invades the Gaza Strip. The second: Israel again causes the terrified flight of masses of Arab refugees. (11)

PLANS TO MAKE WAR AGAINST EGYPT

The first objective was to make war against Egypt. According to Rokach, "What Sharett tells us ... is that a major war against Egypt aimed at the territorial conquests of Gaza and the Sinai was on the Israeli leadership's agenda at least as early as the autumn of 1953, almost a year before Nasser ousted Neguib and consolidated his leadership." (12)

Sharett describes the insistence of Dayan on waging war on Egypt. He states:

Moshe Dayan brought out one plan after the other for "direct action."The first- what should be done to force open the blockade in the straits of Eilat. A ship flying the Israeli flag should be sent, and if the Egyptians will bomb it we should bomb the Egyptian base from the air, or (we should) conquer Ras-e-Naqueb or open our way from the south to the Gaza Strip up to the coast. There was ageneral uproar. I asked him: do you realize this would mean war with Egypt? He said: of course .... (13)

According to Rokach:

War with Egypt was to remain a major ambition of Israel's security establishment, but the time was not yet ripe. On February 25, 1954, Ben Gurion himself put the brakes on his collaborators' impatience when he rejected Lavon's proposal "to go ahead immediately with the plan for the separation of the Gaza Strip from Egypt." The Old Man was determined to stick to his timetable. Now, Sharett noted later, "Ben Gurion suggested to concentrate on action against Syria." (14)

Livia Rokach states that the CIA gave the green light for an attack on Egypt:

Sharett, however, vetoed an immediate action. At this point the Israeli plot against Lebanon was also suspended for other reasons. On October 1, 1955, the U.S. government, through the CIA, gave Israel the "green light" to attack Egypt. The energies of Israel's security establishment became wholly absorbed by the preparations for the war which would take place exactly one year later. In the summer of 1956, in preparation for the Sinai-Suez operation, the close military and political alliance with France was clinched. (15)

THE LAVON AFFAIR

In 1954. Israel sent a spy ring to Egypt to carry out acts of sabotage aimed at disrupting Egyptian relations with Britain and the United States. The instructions given to the spy ring included the following:

(Our goal is) to break the West's confidence in the existing (Egyptian) regime .... The actions should cause arrests, demonstrations, and expressions of revenge. The Israeli origin of these acts of sabotage should be totally hidden, while attention should be shifted to any other possible factor. The purpose is to prevent economic and military aid from the West to Egypt. The choice of the precise objectives to be sabotaged will be left to the men on the spot, who should evaluate the possible consequences of each action.,,in terms of creating commotion and public disorders. (16)

Livia Rokach describes how this conspiracy was executed:

These orders were carried out between June 2 and July 27, 1954, by the network which was composed of about ten Egyptian Jews under the command of Israeli agents. Negotiations were at their height between Cairo and London for the evacuation of the Suez Canal Zone, and between Cairo and Washington for arms supplies and other aid in connection with a possible U.S.-Egyptian alliance. British and American cultural and information centers, British-owned cinemas, Egyptian public buildings (such as post offices) were bombed in Cairo and Alexandria. Suspicion was shifted to the Muslim Brotherhood, opponents of Nasser's regime. The Israeli ring was finally discovered and broken up on July 27, when one of its members was caught after a bomb exploded in his pocket in Alexandria.

On that same date Sharett, who knew nothing about the ring, was informed of the facts, and he began to collect evidence on the responsibilities of the Defense Ministry and Army officials. He did nothing beyond this, however, until October 5th, when Cairo officially announced the imminent trial of the arrested saboteurs. Sharett then fully supported the campaign launched by Israel to present the case as an anti- Jewish frame-up by the Egyptian regime. On December 13, two days after the trial opened in Cairo, the Prime Minister denounced in the Knesset "the plot ... and the show trial ... against a group of Jews ... victims of false accusations." His Party's paper, Davar went as far as to accuse the Egyptian government of "a Nazi-inspired policy." Horror stories of confessions extracted from the accused under torture circulated in the Israeli and international media. Sharett knew all this to be untrue. But publicly, he kept silent - when he did not himself join the massive anti-Nasser chorus. Even members of the cabinet, the President of the State, not to speak of the press, were not officially informed until some time in February, when rumors exploded on every street comer in Israel. Then the true story came out, exposing that the govemment propaganda had been false from beginning to end, that the terrorists ring was indeed planted in Egypt by the Israelis and the only frame-up in question was the one invented against Egypt by the Sharett administration ...

The technical question of who actually gave the order to activate the ring on a certain date was not to be cleared up until six years later, when a fourth or fifth inquiry commission finally and definitely exonerated Lavon from that responsibility, and established that Dayan, Peres, Givli and other, minor, "security" aides had forged documents and falsified testimonies in order to bring about the incrimination of the Minister of Defense. In 1954/55, Sharett anticipated the findings of that commission, assessing correctly that the entire leadership of the security establishment was guilty of the Lavon Affair. For him, the question of who gave the order was secondary to the necessity of pronouncing a judgment on the ideology and politics of Israel's terrorism. Therefore, while he had no doubts about the guilt of the Dayan-Peres- Givli clique, to him Lavon's political responsibility was also inescapable. (17)

The diaries of Sharett testify to Israeli terrorist plans. He states:

Teddy (Kollek) painted a horrifying picture of the relations at the top of the security establishment. The Minister of Defense is completely isolated - some of his collaborators (e.g. Peres, Dayan and a number of senior Ministry officials and army officers) plotted to blacken his name and trap him. They captured the man who came from abroad, (the commander of the unit in Egypt, Abraham Zeidenberg, also known as "Paul Frank," "Elad," or "the third man") who escaped from Egypt ... instructed him in detail how to answer, including how to lie to the investigators, and coordinated the testimonies so as to close the trap on Lavon. Teddy is convinced that Lavon must go immediately. Givli, too, must be dismissed, but Dayan, however, should not be touched for the time being.

I would never have imagined that we could reach such a horrible state of poisoned relations, the unleashing of the basest instincts of hate and revenge and mutual deceit at the top of our most glorious Ministry (of Defense).

I walk around as a lunatic, horror-stricken and lost, completely helpless ... what should I do? What should I do? (18)

NASSER: COEXISTENCE WITH ISRAEL IS POSSIBLE
BEN-GURION'S REPLY: OPERATION GAZA

Livia Rokach further states:

Commenting on Israel's terrorist actions in Egypt, a U.S. embassy official in Cairo concluded on February 8,1955, that "Sharett does not have control of matters if such mad actions can be carried out."

The State Department, the Prime Minister noted, feared subsequent Israeli provocations to sabotage U.S. relations with the Arab world following the signing of the Ankara- Baghdad pact. The American administration, therefore, attempted to move simultaneously in two directions in order to save what may be saved in the given situation. It placed pressure on Nasser to negotiate some kind of agreement with the Sharett government, and it offered the Zionist state a security pact. The Israeli Premier noted that Kermit Roosevelt of the CIA was working on the creation of contacts between Israel and Egypt, and that Sharett ... would nominate Yigael Yadin as his representative. (1/21/55; p. 675)

"(I met with) Roger Baldwin, theenvoy of the U.S. League of Human Rights who visited Cairo ... Nasser talked to him about Israel, saying that he is not among those who want to throw Israel into the Mediterranean. He believes in coexistence with Israel and knows that negotiations will open some day."(l/25/55; p. 680)

"Cable from Eban ... The U.S. is ready to sign an agreement with us whereby we shall make a commitment not to extend our borders by force, it will commit itself to come to our aid if we were attacked." (1/28/55; p. 691)

"Teddy (Kollek) brought a message from Isser's (head of the Security Services) men in Washington. The partners renew their suggestion for a meeting with Nasser, who does not regard the initiative of the meeting canceled because of the outcome of the trial ... He is as willing to meet us as before and the initiative is now up to Israel." (2!10/55; p. 716)

"(In regard to Washington's proposals for a U.S.-Israel security pact), I cabled Eban that we are willing to accept a clause which obliges us not to extend our borders by force, but we should in no way commit ourselves to desist from any hostile acts because this would mean closing the door on any possibility to carry out reprisal actions." (2//4/55; p. 726)

This last phrase indicated that the news of the American proposals, and of possible negotiations between Sharett and Nasser had spread rapidly in the security establishment. The pressures on Sharett were stepped up. On February 17, Ben Gurion accepted the Premier's invitation to return to the government as Minister of Defense. Quoting his landlady, Sharett noted on that day in his diary: "that is the end of peace and quiet." Ten days later in fact — (19)

"Ben Gurion arrived ... with ... the Chief of Staff, who was carrying rolled-up maps. I understood at once what would be the subject of theconversation .... The Chief of Staff s proposal was to hit an Egyptian army base at the entrance to the city of Gaza ....( He) estimated that the enemy losses would be about ten ... and that we have to be prepared for a few victims on our side. Ben Gurion insisted that the intention is not to kill but only to destroy buildings. If the Egyptians run away under the shock of the attack, there may be no bloodshed at all.

"I approved the plan. The act of infiltration near Rehovot - 30 km from the border of the Gaza Strip - shocked the public and a lack of reaction is unacceptable .... In my heart I was sorry that the reprisal would be attributed (by the public) to Ben Gurion. After all, I did authorize a reprisal action ... when Ben Gurion was away from the government, and it was purely by chance that the operation did not take place, I would have approved this one, too, regardless of Ben Gurion being the Minister of Defense. .." (2/27/55; pp. 799-800)

"I am shocked. The number of Egyptian victims (39 dead and 30 wounded, including a 7-year-old boy), changes not only the dimensions of the operation but its very substance. It turns it into an event liable to cause grave political and military complications and dangers ... The army spokesman, on instructions from the Minister of Defense, delivered a false version to the press, that a unit of ours, after having been attacked supposedly inside our territory, returned the fire and engaged a battle which later developed as it did. Who will believe us?'(3/1/55; p. 804) (20)

NASSER TO MEET SHARETT

Livia Rokachquotes from the diaries of Sharett that President Nasser of Egypt was willing to meet Sharett. She quotes Sharett as follows:

Yesterday ... there was a conversation between (Salah) Gohar (the chief Egyptian representative to the mixed armistice commission) and (Joseph) Tekoah. The Egyptian representative informed Tekoah that right after the previous meeting (which took place immediately following the Gaza attack) ... Nasser told him ... that he had had a personal contact with Israel's Prime Minister and that there were good chances that things would develop in a positive way, but then came the attack on Gaza, and naturally now ... it's off.

Lawson (U.S. Ambassador) thinks that the reason for the warning and the threats (from Arab countries) is fear which has seized the Arab World due to Ben Gurion's comeback. The Gaza attack is interpreted as signalling a decision on our part to attack on all fronts. The Americans, too, are afraid that it will lead to a new conflagration in the Middle East which will blow up all their plans. Therefore, they wish to obtain from us a definite commitment that similar actions will not be repeated. (3/12/55; p. 837) (21)

BEN GURION DETERMINED TO OCCUPY THE GAZA STRIP

Livia Rokach states the following:

But it was precisely to prevent a similar commitment that Ben Gurion rejoined the government, and he had no intention of changing his mind. On the contrary, on March 25, less than a month after the attack on Gaza, he proposed to the cabinet that Israel proceed to occupy the Gaza Strip, this time for good. The discussion lasted five whole days and ended with the ministers divided between the opponents of the proposal, headed by Sharett, and Ben Gurion's supporters. With five votes in favour, nine against it, and two abstentions, the plan was rejected; or perhaps simply postponed. (22)

ISRAELI LEADERS WISH TO RENEW WAR WITH EGYPT

Livia Rokach refers to the diaries of Moshe Sharett to prove that Israeli leaders wanted to renew the war with Egypt. She states:

Throughout 1953/54 Sharett periodically referred in his Diary to proposals made by Ben Gurion, Dayan, Lavon and others topresent Egypt with an ultimatum: either it evacuates all the Palestinian refugees from Gaza and disperses them inside Egypt, or else. The description of the Cabinet discussion in the last week of March 1955 on Ben Gurion's demand for the occupation of Gaza, offers more details:

"The Defense Minister's proposal is that Israel declare invalid the armistice agreement with Egypt, and thus resume its 'right' to renew the (1948/49) war....I have condemned the twisted logic in Ben Gurion's reliance on the violation of the armistice agreement by Egypt, in order to justify the declaration on our part that this agreement does not exist any more and thus we are allowed to resume the war....Let us assume that there are 200,000 Arabs in the Gaza Strip. Let us assume that half of them will run or will be made to run to the Hebron Hills. Obviously they will run away without anything and shortly after they establish for themselves some stable environment, they will become again a riotous and homeless mob. It is easy to imagine the outrage and hate and bitterness and the desire for revenge that will animate them .... And we shall still have 100,000 of them in the Strip, and it is easy to imagine what means we shall resort to in orderto repress them and what waves of hatred we shall create again and what kind of headlines we shall receive in the international press. The first round would be: Israel aggressively invades the Gaza Strip. The second: Israel causes again the terrified flight of masses of Arab refugees." (3/27/55; p.865) (23)

TOPPLING NASSER'S REGIME IN EGYPT

Livia Rokach quotes Sharett's Diary to prove the intentions of the Israelis to topple Nasser's regime in Egypt. According to Sharett's Diary, at another cabinet meeting, Ben Gurion

Tried to prove that Egypt aspires to dominate Africa, westwards to Morocco and southwards to South Africa where one day the blacks will get up and massacre the two million whites and then subject themselves to Egypt's moral authority .... Nasser (he said) will probably not react to the occupation of the Gaza Strip because his regime is based solely on the army, and if he tries to fight back he will be defeated and his regime will collapse. The Arab States will probably not come to Nasser's aid anyway. Finally, the Western powers will not react ... militarily. England will not invade the Negev -"and if she will, we shall fight and throw her out in disgrace ...." Our force is in the accomplishment of facts - this is the only way for us to become a political factor which has to be taken into consideration. This is the right moment because the Arab world is divided and Egypt has not yet signed an agreement with the U.S. or England. (3/29/55; pp. 874-875) (24)

BASIC MOTIVES FOR THE USE OF FORCE

Livia Rokach explains the motivation of the Zionists for the use of force against Egypt and other Arab countries. She states:

To prevent an alliance between the West and the Arab world, especially with the most important Arab country - Egypt - was (and was to remain) Israel's main goal. This has nothing to do with Israel's security. On the contrary, Ben Gurion's policy was directed at preventing guarantees from being imposed on the Zionist state by the U.S. Such guarantees would necessarily imply the achievment of a minimum agreement between Israel and the Arab world (definition of the borders and a "face-saving" solution for the Palestinian refugees). The basic motive was also clearly stated: the use of force was "the only way" for Israel to become a hegemonic power in the region, possibly in alliance with the West. Nasser had to be eliminated not because his regime constituted a danger for Israel, but because an alliance between the West and his prestigious leadership in the third world, and in the Middle East, would inevitably lead to a peace agreement which in turn would cause the Zionist state to be relativized as just one of the region's national societies.

That Nasser's regime did not constitute any danger to Israel's existence was well known at the time to the Israelis. Sharett noted:

... I expressed my doubts in regard to the (much publicized by Israel) growth of Egypt's military strength, seeing that this year all the energies of the (Egptian) army have been absorbed in domestic conflicts and rivalries ... About 500 officers, among the best in the Egyptian forces, left the military services (after Nasser replaced Neguib) and passed on to administrative and political activities.(3/30/55) But Israel's worldwide campaign had nothing to do with the true facts. According to Sharett:

Ben Gurion (in the cabinet meeting) declared that Nasser is the most dangerous enemy of Israel and is plotting to destroy her when the right time comes. It is not clear where he gets the confidenee that (enables him) to express (this) so definitely and decisively, as if it were based on proven facts.(4/24/55)

Livia Rokach states:

It was simply directed to mobilize international opinion against Egypt, and prepare a favorable ground for Israel's imminent military aggression. At the same time, however, Israeli officials were instructed to convince Western govemments that the instability of Nasser's regime did not make it worthy of Western aid and support. As always, when their end justified the means, Israel's rulers were not at all concerned about the contradiction between their parallel campaigns. (25)

A GREEN LIGHT FROM THE CIA

Livia Rokach quotes the Diary of Sharett to prove that the CIA was giving Israel the green light to attack Egypt.

(On October 1st) Teddy (Kollek) brought in a classified cable from Washington. Our "partner" named (in code) "Ben" (Kermit Roosevelt of the CIA) ... describes the terrible confusion prevailing in the State Department under the shock of the Nasser-Czech "i.e. Russian" deal. (Henry) Byroade and all the others who were in favor of U.S. support to Egypt lost their say completely. He adds: "We are surprised at your silence." Wcn our man asked for the meaning of these words, and whether we are expected to go to war, the answer was "If. when the Soviet arms arrive, you will hit Egypt- no one will protest."(lO/l/55; p.1182)

In the cabinet meeting on October 3,Ben Gurion declared: "If they really get Migs.,.I will support their bombing! We can do it!" I understood that he read the cable from Washington. The wild seed has fallen on fertile ground.( 10/3/55)

Isser (Harel, Shin Bet chief) likewise concludes that the U.S. is hinting to us that as far as they are concerned we have a free hand and God bless us if we act audaciously .... Now ... the U.S. is interested in toppling Nasser's regime..,but it does not dare at the moment use the methods it adopted (to topple the leftist government of Jacobo Arbenz) in Guatemala (1954) and (to topple the leftist government of Mossadeq) in Iran (1953) .... It prefers its work to be done by Israel ...

Hence, Isser proposes seriously and pressingly ... that we carry out our plan for the occupation of the Gaza Strip now .... The situation is changed and there are other reasons which determine that it is "time to act." First the discovery of oil near the Strip ... its defense requires dominating the Strip - this alone is worth dealing with [he troublesome question of the refugees. Second, Egypt's betrayal of the West. This fact eliminates the danger of an armed intervention of the powers against us. (10/3/55; p.1186)

Rokach states:

Precisely one year later Dayan's troops occupied the Gaza Strip, Sinai, and the Straits of Tiran and were arrayed along the shore of the Suez Canal to watch the spectacular French andBritishaeria1 bombardments of Ismailiaand Suez, accompanied by the rapid landing of troops in the Canal Zone. Six months before, as a result of a personal decision by Ben Gurion, Sharett had been eliminated from the government. The Premiership had been resumed by the Old Man in November 1955, one month after the U.S. "green lightt' for Israeli invasion against Egypt. (26)

THE PLAN TO MAKE WAR ON SYRIA

Livia Rokach quotes from the Diary of Sharett regarding the Zionist plan to make war on Syria. She states: At the above-cited meeting on January 31, Dayan (chief of staff) went on to outline his war plans. Sharett's note for that day continues:
"The second plan - action against the interference of the Syrians with our fishing in the Lake of Tiberias.,.. The third - if, due to internal problems in Syria, Iraq invades that count? ... we should advance (militarily, into Syria) and realize a series of fair accomplis .... The interesting conclusion to be drawn from all this regards the direction in which the new Chief of Staff is thinking. I am extremely woried." (27)

LAVON URGES ATTACK ON SYRIA

Sharett states in his Diary:

On February 25, 1954, Syrian troops stationed in Aleppo revolted against Adib Shishakly's regime.

After lunch Lavon took me aside and started trying to persuade me: "This is the right moment to act - this is the time to move forward and occupy the Syrian border positions beyond the Demilitarized Zone. Syria is disintegrating. A State with whom we signed an armistice agreement exists no more. Its government is about to fall and there is no other power in view. Moreover, Iraq has practically nioved into Syria. This is a historical opportunity, we shouldn't miss it" .... He repeated that time was precious and we must act so as not to miss an opportunlty which otherwise might be lost forever. Again I answered that under the circumstances right now 1 cannot approve any such action. Finally I said that next Saturday we would both be meeting with Ben Gurion ... and we could consult him then on the matter. I saw that he was extremely displeased by thedelay. However, he had no choice but to agree.(2/25/54)

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