Newsletter : 19fx0219.txt
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NY Times: Israel Inspired 9/11 Terror Attacks
By The Algemeiner (Commentary)
The New York Times is suddenly and retroactively blaming Israel for motivating the
terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, without much evidence to support the claim. A
recent Times news article about deadly attacks in Africa by affiliates of the terrorist
group Al Qaeda blames them on President Trump's decision to obey an American law that
required him to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The Times reports, "The attacks came fully seven months after President Trump moved the
American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the disputed holy city, which Mr.
Trump recognized as the country's capital. Widely seen as inflaming tensions and as a
demonstration of the administration's favoritism toward Israel in its long conflict with
the Palestinians, the move drew condemnation at the time from many corners, including Al
Qaeda and other extremist militant organizations."
The Times mentions that the Jerusalem embassy move "drew condemnation
corners" but fails to mention that it also drew praise from many corners, including from
the elected government of Israel and many American Jews and Christian Zionists.
But that's just a mild precursor compared to the Times` September 11 revisionism, which
comes in a paragraph of the article that immediately follows the description of Jerusalem.
The Times reports, "The suffering of the Palestinians has long been an animating cause for
Al Qaeda, a stand-in for the victimization of Muslims at the hands of Western powers.
Biographies of Osama bin Laden say that as an adolescent, he cried watching news coverage
of displaced Palestinians who had been forced off their land."
These are new claims by the Times, which has previously had rejected them. For example, on
September 23, 2001, a former Jerusalem bureau chief of the paper, Serge Schmemann, wrote,
"The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11 were apparently not
about Israel and the Palestinians, at least not directly.
There were no indications
that the architects of the attack had American support for Israel as their primary
On October 12, 2001, the Times published an op-ed by a former US diplomat, Dennis Ross,
headlined, "Bin Laden's Terrorism Isn't About The Palestinians." Ross wrote that any claim
that the attack on America "was about the plight of the Palestinians" was as "absurd" as
Saddam Hussein's claim that he had invaded Kuwait in 1990 to help the Palestinians.
Not even the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasir Arafat, bought this
nonsense. The Times reported in 2002: Arafat, the Palestinian leader, sought to distance
himself unequivocally from Al Qaeda in an interview published today, warning Osama bin
Laden to stop justifying attacks in the name of Palestinians.
"I'm telling him directly not to hide behind the Palestinian cause," Arafat was quoted as
saying in The Sunday Times of London, referring to recent statements by Al Qaeda leaders.
"Why is bin Laden talking about Palestine now?" Arafat said. "He never helped us. He was
working in another, completely different area and against our interests." That 2002 Times
report referred to "Al Qaeda, which has in the past mentioned the Palestinian issue only
For Israel and its friends, it's a bit of a complicated issue. Associating Al Qaeda with
the Palestinian cause could help discredit the Palestinians by associating them and their
supporters with an evil terrorist group that is extremely unpopular with Americans across
the political spectrum who vividly remember the 2001 attacks. However, the association
could also feed the fantasy that if only the Israel-Palestinian issue could be somehow
resolved, Al Qaeda and other similar anti-American and anti-Western terrorist groups would
immediately surrender and cease their violent attacks.
Anyway, one wonders what "biographies" not just one, but plural of Osama Bin
Laden the Times is talking about. And one wonders how believable are these improbable
Times-cited reports of Bin Laden's adolescent tears. One biography of Bin Laden is by
Michael Scheuer, a former CIA official who has complained of a "fifth column of pro-Israel
US citizens" who are "unquestionably enemies of America's republican experiment." That
erodes his credibility. Another Bin Laden biography, by Jonathan Randal, reports that Bin
Laden, "like so many other Saudis, had a long record of indifference about the Palestinian
Unless the Times itself has independent confirmation or reason to believe this tale about
Bin Laden's tears for the Palestinians, or is willing to fill Times readers in with more
detail about the source, it is strange for the newspaper to shift its narrative so
dramatically about the "animating cause" of the group behind the deadly attacks on America
One hint of this story's possible source does come in a previous Times article, from
December 2017, which begins, "Osama bin Laden was just 14 when his mother noticed that he
had stopped watching his favorite Westerns. She found him fixated instead on news reports
about Palestinians, tears streaming down his face as he watched TV in their home in Saudi
Arabia. `In his teenage years, he was the same nice kid,' his mother related. `But he was
more concerned, sad and frustrated by the situation in Palestine,' she said, according to
Lawrence Wright's account of bin Laden's trajectory and Al Qaeda's rise in his book, `The
Even that, though, is a truncated account; the full quote from the Wright book has Bin
Laden's mother claiming that her teenage son would "weep" about "the situation in
Palestine in particular, and the Arab and Muslim world in general." The Wright book
passage mentions nothing at all about "displaced Palestinians who had been forced off
their land." The rest of the Wright book passage explains also that during the same
period, Bin Laden became more religious, with some ascribing the change "to a charismatic
Syrian gym teacher at the school who was a member of the Muslim Brothers."
The Times could just as easily have blamed the gym teacher or the Muslim Brotherhood;
instead, it blames the Jewish State of Israel.
`Jews Control ISIS and the Media,' Says Iranian Preacher
By United with Israel
Iranian fanatic Mehdi Taeb promotes a twisted ideology, preaching that the State of
Israel, Zionists and Jews lurk behind all evil in the world. Taeb, who leads the Ammar
Strategic Advisory Base in Iran, issued a video in which he spouts vile lies about Israel,
blaming the Jewish people for everything from ISIS' atrocities to the activities of the
While these virulently anti-Semitic tropes are stock-in-trade for Muslim preachers in the
Middle East, it is still shocking to hear Taeb blame the Jews for crimes against humanity
committed by Islamic terrorists like ISIS. Taeb also rolls out a theory regarding the
State of Israel's role in the Jews' plan for world domination that is truly appalling.
Genesis: First-Ever Israel Lunar Mission Launches this Week
By TPS & World Israel News
An Israeli nonprofit says it will launch what it hopes will be the first private
spacecraft to land on the moon this week.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin kicked off the week's countdown in Jerusalem on Sunday
where he was presented with a copy of a time capsule that will travel to the moon aboard
the first Israeli spacecraft. The time capsule consists of three discs, each containing
hundreds of digital files, including Israeli national symbols like Israel's Declaration of
Independence, the Bible, Israel's national anthem "Hatikvah" and the Israeli flag.
"Until now, only the superpowers the United States, the former Soviet Union and
China have landed on the moon. If all goes well, the small and young State of
Israel will be the fourth country in history to land a spacecraft on the moon," Rivlin
SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries told reporters on Monday that the
landing craft, dubbed Beresheet, or Genesis, will launch from Florida, where, propelled by
a SpaceX Falcon rocket launch, it will commence its months-long voyage to the moon.
The launch is due late Thursday in the U.S., early Friday in Israel. It had been
originally slated for last December. The small craft, roughly the size of a washing
machine, will have to make several orbits before landing.
Israel's space program chief Avi Blasberger says he hopes it will create a "Beresheet
effect" in Israel, akin to the Apollo effect, to promote science for a new generation of
Israelis. The spacecraft will remain on the Moon indefinitely.
A Reporter's Notebook: When Warsaw was Jewish, Poles Still Celebrated
By Tovah Lazaroff (the Jerusalem Post)
My grandmother Shulamith often gave me walking directions to her childhood home in
Warsaw, which was destroyed by the Nazis many years before I was born. "We lived two
buildings down from the Jewish community center and across the street from the Tachkemoni
[Rabbinical Seminary]," she would say.
Her accented, but grammatically perfect English, lent an otherworldly air to the stories
she spun for me in the kitchen of her home in Brookline, Massachusetts. She spoke as if
the pre-World War II city of Warsaw with its cobbled streets still existed. As if I might,
like some fictional time traveler, return to the brownstone apartment building at Ulica
Grazybowska 22 where she had lived with her parents and four siblings.
Intellectually, particularly as a teacher of the Holocaust, my grandmother knew quite
well, of course that her building, indeed most of her street and the city itself had been
leveled during World War II. But until her death in 2009 in Jerusalem, she refused to
return to Warsaw, fearing the city, which lived in her mind's eye, would evaporate, like a
ghost in daylight, dispelled by the reality of a new modern Warsaw almost devoid of Jews.
The Warsaw she knew had a Jewish population of more than 300,000, that comprised 30% of
the city's population. It was the largest center of Jewish life in Europe, and second only
to New York. My grandmother and her family had fled Russia and early Soviet anti-Semitism,
choosing to leave their shtetl of Khaslavichy after two families were murdered in pogroms
in 1919. A couple and their child, who survived the first pogrom, fled to her family's
home, where the man collapsed onto their floor in his blood splattered clothes.
The escape from the USSR included a harrowing illegal crossing into Poland. The family hid
in the back of a hay wagon as their Russian driver raced his horses across the border,
while barking dogs alerted the guards. On a cold and snowy December day, they arrived at
Warsaw's train station. Looking back, for both my grandmother and her younger sister,
Anna, it was the moment they left behind the world of the shtetl and entered the modern
Warsaw was a city filled with theaters, libraries and modern shops. It was here in the
1920s that they saw their first talking movies, most notably The Jazz Singer. They flirted
with boys, including the ones at the rabbinical seminary across the street.
"We would stare out the window at them, and they would stare back," my Aunt Anna once
described for me. They met the leading Jewish personalities of the day, including Emanuel
Ringelblum, who perished in the Holocaust and is famous for organizing the clandestine
Oneg Shabbat ("Joy of the Sabbath") Archive chronicling life in the Warsaw Ghetto.
For my grandmother, however, Ringelblum was a dynamic history teacher for whom she had a
school girl's crush and who helped inspire her to become an educator. My grandmother loved
the way the Sabbath candles flickered in the windows of Jewish homes on Friday nights, and
fondly recalled picking up the cholent pot from the neighborhood bakery on Saturday.
The two sisters learned to speak Polish fluently. My grandmother changed her Yiddish name
Sheyna to the Polish Sonya. She witnessed the May 12, 1926 coup in which fighting erupted
in Warsaw's streets. But almost from the start, the two understood they had an unrequited
love affair with a city and a country that was virulently anti-Semitic. Jews were held to
be foreigners, even though they had lived there for close to 1,000 years.
Within months of their arrival, there was a famous murder case in which the Polish killer
of a Jewish man was acquitted, leaving the Jewish community with the belief that they were
unsafe, and justice was unattainable for Jews in Poland's courts. At the large party held
following his acquittal, my grandmother recalled, that he was celebrated for killing a
There were also the lesser incidents in which Jews were harassed and cursed on the
streets, including one story in which hoodlums surrounded a Jewish man, forcibly shaved
off his beard and cut off his side-locks.
Convinced there was no future for Jews in Poland, my grandmother became an ardent Zionist
dreaming of Palestine. She was the only woman on the executive board of her Zionist youth
group. When she set sail instead for the United States in 1930, with her family, her
friends chided her that she would soon lose her Zionist ideals.
She and I moved to Israel together in 2000. Last week, as I left Israel for Poland on
Binyamin Netanyahu's plane to cover the prime minister's trip to the Warsaw summit for The
Jerusalem Post, I heard her voice in my head.
It was my second trip to the Polish capital. On the first morning of the three-day trip, I
typed the address of her apartment building into Waze. Under a cloudy slightly snowy sky,
I stared at the concrete gray apartment building, with a supermarket on the ground floor,
that has replaced the brownstone where she lived a century ago. Next door, where the
Jewish community center had been, is the Radisson Hotel.
I tried to picture the street as she had seen it and imagined her standing there, giggling
with her sister dreaming of the future. But even in her worst teenage nightmares, her fear
of anti-Semitism could not have led her to imagine the murder of Poland's three million
Jews in the Holocaust.
Nor, in her wildest most positive dreams, when she imagined the State of Israel, so do I
think she foresaw a scenario in which her grand-daughter would fly to Poland on an Israeli
airline together with an Israeli prime minister, staying just a short walk away from her
She would, however, have recognized the debate that swirled around Netanyahu's visit with
regard to Polish anti-Semitism. At issue is Polish cooperation with the Nazis in the
killing of Jews and the extent of Polish culpability in World War II.
When the war broke out, my grandmother was safely in the United States and married to my
grandfather. On my first visit to Warsaw, a Jewish historian told me that most of the
Jewish people or artifacts that survived World War II did so only because they left Warsaw
before the war.
As an American, with no direct family members who survived the camps, it was the first
time I felt like a survivor. I am alive, to write this column, not because my grandmother
had insight or foresight into Nazi Germany. I am alive because she understood a decade
before the Holocaust how deeply rooted Polish hatred of Jews was, in the city she so
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