Israeli Assassinations and American Presidents
On Jan. 13 the Atlanta Jewish Times featured a column by its owner-publisher suggesting that Israel might someday need to “order a hit” on the president of the United States.
In the column, publisher Andrew Adler describes a scenario in which Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu would need to “give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel.”
The purpose? So that the vice president could then take office and dictate U.S. policies that would help the Jewish state “obliterate its enemies.”
Adler wrote that it is highly likely that the idea “has been discussed in Israel’s most inner circles.”
Numerous Jewish leaders quickly condemned Adler, who has now apologized for the column, resigned, and put the newspaper up for sale. An Israeli columnist noted that the hatred being stirred up against Obama is similar to conditions in Israel that led to the murder of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish extremist.
Many of those criticizing Adler claim that he defamed Israel by suggesting that it would ever do such a thing. Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), proclaimed: “There is absolutely no excuse, no justification, no rationalization for this kind of rhetoric. It doesn’t even belong in fiction.”
In reality, however, Adler’s expectation that Israel’s inner circles have explored such a course of action, and would be willing to undertake it, may be entirely accurate. The fact is that Israel has killed and plotted to assassinate people throughout the world; a number have been Americans. One alleged plot was chillingly similar to Adler’s suggestion.
There is evidence that in 1991 an Israeli undercover team planned to assassinate a U.S. president. The intended victim was George Herbert Walker Bush.
The first person to write of the plot was a former 11-term Republican congressman from Illinois, Paul Findley. In a 1992 article in the Washington Report for Middle East Affairs, Findley described the alleged scheme and how it was revealed.
Findley wrote that the U.S. Secret Service had received a warning that elements of Israel’s spy agency might target Bush when he went to Madrid for the opening day of the peace conference to be held that year.
According to Findley, a former Mossad agent named Victor Ostrovsky, who had written a book exposing Israel’s spy agency, told a group of Canadian parliamentarians that he had received secret intelligence suggesting that the “the Mossad’s hatred of Bush — and support for Vice President Dan Quayle — might lead to an attempt on the president’s life.”
Israel considered Quayle much closer to Israel than Bush. Bush had particularly angered Israel by attempting to pressure Israel into ending its illegal settlement expansion on confiscated Palestinian land by withholding loan guarantees until Israel ended this practice.
Findley wrote that Ostrovsky’s statements were relayed to Findley’s friend and former colleague Paul “Pete” McCloskey, a prominent former Republican congressman from California who had recently been named by Bush to the National and Community Service Commission.
McCloskey, a decorated Marine veteran and graduate of Stanford Law School who had at one time been considered a presidential contender, flew to Ottawa to debrief Ostrovsky in person and evaluate his information.
Findley reported that Ostrovsky told McCloskey that the Mossad wanted “to do everything possible to preserve a state of war between Israel and its neighbors, assassinating President Bush, if necessary.” Ostrovsky said that a PR campaign was already underway in both Israel and the United States to “prepare public acceptance of Dan Quayle as president.”
Convinced that Ostrovsky was legitimate and his information significant, McCloskey jumped on the next flight to Washington, where he reported Ostrovsky’s intelligence to the Secret Service and State Department.
The apparent plot never went forward, perhaps because Ostrovsky and McCloskey had given it away.
Ostrovsky gave more details about the plot two years later in his 1994 book, The Other Side of Deception: A Rogue Agent Exposes the Mossad’s Secret Agenda, published by HarperCollins.
In the book, Ostrovsky wrote that an extremist group within Mossad was responsible for the plan. He said they kept the plan secret from then–Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, though they believed that Shamir would have ordered such a hit himself if he hadn’t been constrained by politics. In the lead-up to Israel’s 1948 founding war, Shamir had headed up a terrorist group known for its assassinations.
In his review of Ostrovsky’s book, Ambassador Andrew Killgore, a retired career foreign service officer and publisher of the Washington Report, called the book an “insider’s probing exposé of some Middle East realities that have been hidden too long from all but Israeli eyes.”
Ostrovsky wrote that the Israelis planned a “false flag” operation, in which they would pin the assassination on Palestinians. They kidnapped three Palestinian militants from Beirut who were to be the scapegoats, took them to Israel’s Negev desert, and held them incommunicado.
“Meanwhile,” Killgore writes, “Mossad-generated threats on the president’s life, seemingly from Palestinians, were leaked. These were designed to throw suspicion on the organization of rogue Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal. Names and descriptions of the three terrorists were leaked to Spanish police so that, if the plot was successful, blame would automatically fall on them.”
Ostrovsky reports that after the assassination plot was eventually canceled, the three Palestinian prisoners were “terminated.”
If the plot had gone forward, this would not have been the first time that Israel targeted Americans for death. Nor would it be the first false-flag operation.
• In 1954 the Mossad planned to firebomb American installations, libraries, and other gathering places in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood was to be blamed for the attacks, thus causing American animosity toward Egypt. An accidental early detonation of one of the devices caused the plot, known as the Lavon Affair, to unravel before it could kill or mutilate the intended Americans.
• In 1967 Israeli air and sea forces perpetrated an almost two-hour assault in which they tried to sink a U.S. Navy ship with a crew of 300. While the attack failed to sink the ship, it succeeded in killing 34 Americans and injuring 174. Some analysts have conjectured that this was also a false-flag operation; it is highly likely that Egypt would have been blamed for the attack if the ship had gone down.
• In 1973 Israeli fighter pilots were ordered to shoot down an unarmed U.S. reconnaissance plane (at the time the U.S. was delivering massive weaponry to Israel to prevent it from losing the “Yom Kippur War” with Egypt and Syria). While the Israelis were unable to reach the altitude of the U.S. plane, they did manage that same year to shoot down a civilian Libyan airliner that had strayed over Israeli territory, killing 104 men, women, and children. One was an American.
• In 1990 a Canadian-American scientist and father of seven, Gerald Bull, was assassinated in Belgium. All indications are that it was an Israeli Mossad hit team that drilled five bullets into the back of his head and neck. (Israel has assassinated a number of scientists of various nationalities. The most recent is a 32-year-old father of a young son from Iran.)
• In 2003 it came out that Israeli leaders had officially decided to undertake assassination operations on U.S. soil. An FBI spokesman, queried about the Israeli plans, said only: “This is a policy matter. We only enforce federal laws.”
• In recent years a growing number of American peace activists have been intentionally killed, maimed, and injured by Israeli forces, including 23-year-old Rachel Corrie, 21-year-old Brian Avery, 37-year-old Tristan Anderson, 21-year-old Emily Henochowicz, and 21-year-old Furkan Dogan.
All of this has been minimally reported in the U.S. press. While major news organizations from England to Israel to Australia covered the Jewish Times’ apparent endorsement of a possible Israeli assassination of a U.S. president, the scandal has been largely missing from U.S. media. Even Atlanta’s AP bureau inexplicably initially decided not to write a report on it, only finally sending out a story many days later.
Such news omissions concerning Israeli partisans are not rare. In 2004 a fanatic Israel loyalist wrote a letter saying that he was going to burn down Presbyterian churches while worshippers were inside (he was furious at the Presbyterian Church’s decision to divest from companies profiting from the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land). This grisly threat also received minimal media play.
Despite Israeli violence against Americans (even while American taxpayers have given far more of our tax money to Israel than to any other nation) American presidential candidates, with the exception of Ron Paul, continue to vie over who is most devoted to Israel.
It is ironic that Adler considers Obama so bad for Israel, given that Israeli analysts have rated him second only to Mitt Romney in his fidelity to Israel. And Obama has now released a seven-minute video that may catapult our first African-American president into first place in pandering to an apartheid nation.
Perhaps he’ll be safe from assassins.
Read more by Alison Weir
- The Real Story of How Israel Was Created – October 10th, 2011
- American Taxpayers Subsidize Israel’s Prosperity – August 31st, 2011
- Israeli Video Games in Gaza – August 23rd, 2011
- Israel Lobby Dominates Congress, Media Covers it Up – August 10th, 2011
- Critical Connections: Egypt, the US, and Israel – February 4th, 2011