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Thursday, January 26, 2012


In a revealing article in the New York Times magazine yesterday, Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman disclosed that in June 2007 he was given a top secret document by former director of Mossad, Meir Amit, that contained a transcript of a conversation between Amit and the then CIA Tel Aviv chief John Hadden.

According to Bergman, part of the transcript read thus:

Amit: “We are approaching a turning point that is more important for you than it is for us. After all, you people know everything. We are in a grave situation, and I believe we have reached it, because we have not acted yet. . . . Personally, I am sorry that we did not react immediately. It is possible that we may have broken some rules if we had, but the outcome would have been to your benefit. I was in favor of acting. We should have struck before the build-up.”

Hadden: “That would have brought Russia and the United States against you.”

Amit: “You are wrong. . . . We have now reached a new stage, after the expulsion of the U.N. inspectors. You should know that it’s your problem, not ours.”

Hadden: “Help us by giving us a good reason to come in on your side. Get them to fire at something, a ship, for example.”

Amit: “That is not the point.”

Hadden: “If you attack, the United States will land forces to help the attacked state protect itself.”

Amit: “I can’t believe what I am hearing.”

Hadden: “Do not surprise us.”

Amit: “Surprise is one of the secrets of success.”

Hadden: “I don’t know what the significance of American aid is for you.”

Amit: “It isn’t aid for us, it is for yourselves.”

While Hadden didn’t actually suggest that the Israelis themselves attack an American ship, it is clear that he did indicate that it should be Israel that manipulates affairs in such a way as to provide a casus belli for the US to enter the war on Israel’s side.

Bergman’s story is revealing for two reasons; firstly, it provides even more credibility to the story of the USS Liberty affair in which the Israel Air Force deliberately attacked a US warship in order to attract the US into their war against the Egyptians by making it look like the attack was carried out by the Egyptians.

Secondly, it is revealing inasmuch that a senior and well respected Israeli journalist should expose the details of the conversation held back in 1967 as Israel was planning to attack Egypt at a time when today Israel is considering its options with regards to attacking Iran and when the US has a considerable armada of warships close to the Iranian shore in the Persian Gulf and Straights of Hamuz. It begs the question: Is Bergman warning the world that what happened forty-five years ago could happen again today?

Time, as usual, will tell.

1 comment:

Arie Brand said...

"Amit did not accept Hadden’s response as final, however, and flew to the United States to meet with Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. Upon his return, he reported to the Israeli cabinet that when he told McNamara that Israel could not reconcile itself to Egypt’s military actions, the secretary replied, “I read you very clearly.” When Amit then asked McNamara if he should remain in Washington for another week, to see how matters developed, McNamara responded, “Young man, go home, that is where you are needed now.”

The notion that McNamara somehow gave tacitly the green light to an Israeli attack seems rather at odds with what President Johnson told us in his memoir The Vantage Point. At I have provided an extract of the relevant part.