Tony Greenstein | 15 February 2016 | Post Views:

Good friends – Israel’s Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Prince Turki al-Faisal, former ambassador to the US and the former head of Saudi’s intelligence agency

An interesting article in YNet
– the on-line version of Israel’s most popular newspaper, Yediot Aharanot, is copied below.

Israel is pushing, with its
Turkish and Saudi partners, for the partition of Syria into its confessional
components – Sunni, Alawite, Druze and Kurd. 
It serves Israel’s  purposes to
fragment Syria, the better to control her and to conquer more
territory in the future.
Pinhas Lavon, Israel’s Defence Minister & Chief of Staff (later Defence & Foreign Minister) Moshe Dayan
I have copied below extensive
tracts from Livia Rokach’s Israel’s Sacred Terrorism, which contain extracts from
the Diaries of Moshe Sharrett, Israel’s second Prime Minister.  Sharrett, who was felled in 1955 by a
combination of the Kasztner trial and the come back of Israel’s first Prime
Minister and hawk, David Ben-Gurion, found himself surrounded with plots by his
subordinate ministers and the Chief of Staff, Moshe Dayan, to conquer more
territory and interfere in the neighbouring countries in order to for example control
the water sources that Israel required.
David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister and architect of Expansion and the Expulsion of Palestinians in 1948
The Diaries demolish the myth
that is sustained in the West to this day, that Israel was a state looking for peace
surrounded by war mongering Arab states. 
On the contrary Israel’s leaders looked continually for pretexts for
war and sought, through terrorist operations in states like Egypt, where Zionist agents planted bombs and created the appearance of destabilisation, to deliberately manipulate the truth.  The operation in Egypt became known as the Security Mishap or the Lavon Affair, after the Defence Minister who initiated it.  Israel, engaging in the
usual hasbara, portrayed itself as the victim in situations where it was the
Moshe Sharrett – Israel’s second Prime Minister and its only dove
Below we see the attempts to
take advantage of the situation in Syria following the fall of its leader
Shishlaky.  So the Defence Minister,
Lavon, urged an invasion of Syria because he alleged Iraq had ‘practically
moved into Syria’.  In fact it had done
nothing whatsoever.
What Israel is doing today is
to fulfill the dreams of Ben-Gurion, Lavon and Dayan.
Moshe Sharrett and David Ben Gurion –  Israel’s first and second  Prime Ministers
Livia Rokach – Israel’s Sacred Terrorism
Chapter 4      “A Historical
Opportunity” to Occupy Southern Syria
Pinhas Lavon – Israeli Defence Minister responsible for terrorism in Egypt and Iraq – deposed by Ben Gurion
On January 31, 1954 Moshe Dayan went on to outline his warplans.
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 country we should advance [militarily, into Syria] and
realize a series of “faits 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 worried. (31 January 1954, 332)
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 moved into Syria. This is an historical
opportunity, we shouldn’t miss it.

… I asked if he suggests to act immediately and I was shocked when I
realized that he does. I said that if indeed Iraq will move into Syria with its
army it will be a revolutionary turn which will … justify far reaching
conclusions, but for the time being this is only a danger, not a fact. … He
repeated that time was precious and we must act so as not to miss an
opportunity which otherwise might be lost forever. Again I answered that under
the circumstances right now I cannot approve any such action. … I saw that he
was extremely displeased by the delay. However, he had no choice but to agree.
(25 February 1954, 374)
The next day the Shishakly regime actually fell. The following day,
February 27, Sharett was present at a meeting where Lavon and Dayan reported to
Ben Gurion that what happened in Syria was – “a typical Iraqi
action.” The two proposed again that the Israeli army be put on the march.
Ben Gurion, “electrified,” agreed. Sharett reiterated his opposition,
pointing to the certainty of a Security Council condemnation… The three objected
that “our entrance [into Syria] is justified in view of the situation in
Syria. This is an act of defense of our border area.” Sharett closed the
discussion by insisting on the need for further discussion in the cabinet
meeting, scheduled for the next morning:
Shimon Peres – Labour Prime Minister and later President – Ben Gurion protegy and famous for plotting against all and sundry – Trusted by no-one – responsible for developing Israel’s nuclear weapon
Lavon’s face wore a depressed expression. He understood this to be the
end of the matter. (27 February 1954, 377)  
On Sunday, February 28, the press reported that no Iraqi troops had
entered Syria. The situation in Damascus was under the complete control of
President Hashem Al Atassi. The cabinet approved Sharett’s position and
rejected Lavon’s vehement appeal not to miss a historical opportunity. Lavon
said “The U.S. is about to betray us and ally itself with the Arab
world.” We should “demonstrate our strength and indicate to the U.S.
that our life depends on this so that they will not dare do anything against
us.” The premier’s victory, however, was to be short-lived….  
On December 12, 1954, however, a Syrian civilian plane was hijacked by
Israeli war planes shortly after its takeoff, and forced to land at Lydda
airport. Passengers and crew were detained and interrogated for two days, until
stormy international protests forced the Israelis to release them. Furious,
Sharett wrote to Lavon on December 22:  
It must be clear to you that we had no justification whatsoever to seize
the plane, and that once forced down we should have immediately released it and
not held the passengers under interrogation for 48 hours. I have no reason to
doubt the truth of the factual affirmation of the U.S. State Department that
our action was without precedent in the history of international practice.
….. What shocks and worries me is the narrow-mindedness and the
shortsightedness of our military leaders. They seem to presume that the State
of Israel may or even must-behave in the realm of international relations
according to the laws of the jungle. (22 December 1954, 607)  

Sharett also protested to Lavon against the scandalous press campaign,
which he suspected was inspired by the security establishment and which was
aimed at convincing public opinion that the Syrian plane was stopped and forced
down because it violated Israeli sovereignty and perhaps endangered its
security. “As a result, the public does not understand why such a plane
was released and naturally it concludes that we have here an unjustified
concession on the part of the government” – (ibid.)  

On December 11 five Israeli soldiers were captured inside Syrian
territory while mounting wiretapping installations on the Syrian telephone
network. A month later, on January 13, 1955, one of them committed suicide in
prison. The official Israeli version is, once again, that the five had been
abducted in Israeli territory, taken to Syria, and tortured. The result was a
violent emotional upsurge in Israel, all the more so as this news arrived
shortly after the condemnation in Cairo of members of an Israeli terrorist ring
which had been described to public opinion as an anti-Jewish frame-up. The
prime minister confided to his personal diary:  

A young boy has been sacrificed for nothing…. Now they will say that
his blood is on my hands. If I hadn’t ordered the release of the Syrian plane
[we would have had our hostages and] the Syrians could have been forced to free
the five. The boy . . . would have been alive … our soldiers have not been
kidnapped in Israeli territory by Syrian invaders as the army spokesman
announced …. They penetrated into Syria and not accidentally but in order to
take care of a wiretapping installation, connected to a Syrian telephone line
… I have no doubt that the press and the Knesset will cry about torture. On
the other hand, it is possible that the boy committed suicide because he broke
down during the interrogation and only later he understood what a disaster he
has brought upon his comrades and what he did to the state. … Anyway, his conscience
probably caused him to take this terrible step. (3 January 1955, 649)  

….It is clear that Dayan’s intention … is to get [Syrian] hostages in
order to obtain the release of our prisoners in Damascus. He put it into his
head that it is necessary to take hostages, and would not let go. (10 February
1955, 714)  

Lavon Affair: Terrorism to Coerce the West
To Aharon Barkatt, then
secretary general of Mapai, Sharett painted the following picture of Israel’s
security establishment:
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
a crazy order concerning the Syrian DMZ. (25 January 1955, 682)
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. (26 January 1955, 685)
Peres shares the same
ideology: he wants to frighten the West into supporting Israel’s aims.

APPENDIX 5 Israeli Newspaper
Reveals Government’s Attempt to Stop Publication of Israel’s Sacred Terrorism
1.Retaliation activities
Quotations from Sharett show that these activities were 
never carried out in revenge
or retaliation, as the were presented to be, but that they were the product of
the premeditated policies of David Ben Gurion and Moshe Dayan. These policies
aimed at heating the borders, as a preparation for war, and as a pretext to
vacate and disperse Palestinian refugees who lived in camps close to the
borders. Quotations from Sharett’s book also reveal that President Yitzhak Ben
Zvi hoped for an Egyptian attack to justify lsrael’s occupation of half of
Sinai. Sharett reveals, furthermore, that the incidents on the Syrian border
were also a result of an Israeli initiative. Sharett details at length the
reasons behind the blood-bath committed by the 101 unit, under the command of
Arik Sharon, in the village of Kibya, where fifty-six innocent Arab villagers
were killed. He also recites how the government decided to publish a false
communique, in which this event was portrayed as a partisan action carried out
by civilian “settlers.”
2.The plan for the occupation
of Southern Syria Sharett reveals that Ben Gurion, Dayan and Pinhas Lavon
requested in February 1954 to exploit the toppling of the Syrian dictator, Adib
Shishakly, by occupying southern Syria and annexing it to Israel. They also
requested to buy a Syrian officer who would acquire power in Damascus and
establish a pro-Israel puppet government. These things seem more actual today
in light of the deteriorating position of Hafez al-Assad and Israeli declarations
in this regard.
3.The intention to partition
Lebanon Sharett reveals that already in February 
1954 Ben Gurion proposed a
large Israeli operation to dismember the Lebanese 
state and to establish a
Maronite-Christian state in one of its parts. Extended discussions were held as
a result. Ben Gurion explicated the plan at length in a letter to Sharett, and
Sharett answered in a long letter in which he opposed the plan vehemently, Ben
Gurion was ready to invest large sums in bribing Christian leaders in Lebanon.
Sharett also revealed that the chief of staff supported the plan of buying a
Lebanese army officer who would be used as a puppet, and who would make it seem
that the intervention of the Israeli army would be in response to his call for
the liberation of Lebanon from Muslim subjugation. In the eyes of today’s
reader this plan seems an accurate blueprint for what took place in Lebanon
after that- the civil war, the establishment of the Maronite enclave of Major
Sa’d Haddad and labeling it “free Lebanon.”
5. See Ha’aretz of’ 29 June
1979, commenting on a recent wave of terrorist actions in Syria attributed to
the Muslim Brothers: “If Syria assumes its Sunni character again, as it
was prior to the rise of the Ba’ath and the Alawites to power, new and varied
opportunities may open up to Israel, Lebanon and the whole Middle Fast. In view
of such a possibility, Israel must keep vigilant and alert: It must not an
opportunity which might be unrepeatable”. A quarter of a century later,
The same formula is being used. In general, a close refilling of the Israeli
press through 1979 suggests that Israel is again deploying efforts in various directions
to bring about the fall[ of Assad’s regime, and to install a Damascus regime
which would go along with Israeli policies. “Israel is aiming at
installing a Sadat in Damascus,” one Israeli political figure told us in
September 1979.

officials at Munich conference: Unrealistic to believe Syria can become united
anew, partition ‘only possible solution’.
Published: 02.14.16,
12:29 / Israel News
voiced doubt on Sunday that an international ceasefire plan for Syria would
succeed, suggesting a sectarian partition of the country was inevitable and
perhaps preferable. [to whom?!]
formally neutral on the five-year civil war racking its neighbor, Israel has
some sway among the world powers that have mounted armed interventions and
which on Friday agreed on a “cessation
of hostilities”
to begin within a week.
Ruins in Homs, Syria, seen from a Russian drone
deal, clinched at a Munich security conference, is already beset by
recriminations between Russia, which backs Syrian President Bashar Assad
militarily and wants to see his rule restored, and Western powers that have
called for change in Damascus involving select opposition groups.
the conference after he met European counterparts and Jordan’s
King Abdullah
, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said he was “very
about the truce’s prospects.
we are going to face chronic instability for a very, very long period of
he said. 
“And part of any grand strategy is to avoid the past,
saying we are going to unify Syria. We know how to make an omelette from an
egg. I don’t know how to make an egg from an omelette.”
to some of the warring sects, Ya’alon added: “We should realize that we
are going to see enclaves – ‘Alawistan’, ‘Syrian Kurdistan’, ‘Syrian
Druzistan’. They might cooperate or fight each other.”

Damascus (Photo: AFP)
Ben-Barak, director-general of Israel’s Intelligence Ministry, described
partition as “the only possible solution.”

think that ultimately Syria should be turned into regions, under the control of
whoever is there,”
he told Army Radio, arguing that Assad’s minority
Alawite sect had no way to heal its schism with the Sunni Muslim majority.
can’t see how a situation can be reached where those same 12 percent Alawites
go back to ruling the Sunnis, of whom they killed half a million people there.
Listen, that’s crazy.”
by Russian firepower, Syrian government forces and their allies have been
encircling rebel-held areas of Aleppo. That would give Assad effective control
of western Syria, Ben-Barak said, although much of the east is dominated by
Islamic State insurgents.
Assad victory in Aleppo, Ben-Barak said, “will not solve the problem,
because the battles will continue. You have ISIS there and the rebels will not
lay down their weapons.”

sharing foreign concerns about Islamic State advances, Israel worries that the
common threat from the insurgents has created a de-facto axis between world
powers and its arch-foe Iran, which also has troops helping Assad.
long as Iran is in Syria, the country will not return to what it was, and it
will certainly find it difficult to become stable as a country that is divided
into enclaves, because the Sunni forces there will not allow this,”
Ya’alon said in an earlier statement.
the conference, Ya’alon also met with Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former
ambassador to the US and the former head of Saudi’s intelligence agency, and
the two shook hands.
said that Israel had channels of communications with neighboring Sunni Arab
countries [i.e. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf statelets]. “Not only Jordan and Egypt. I speak about the Gulf states and
North African states too … For them, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood are the
enemy. They are not shaking hands (with Israelis) in public, but we meet in
closed rooms.”

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Tony Greenstein

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