A blog dedicated to investigating events as they occur in Judea and Samaria, in Israel and in the world, and as they relate to global powers and/or to the Israeli government, public figures, etc. It is dedicated to uncovering the truth behind the headlines; and in so doing, it strives to do its part in saving Judea and Samaria, and by extension, Israel and the Jewish People, from utter destruction at the hands of its many external and internal enemies.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Interesting article by E. Winston about the possible DRUG connection of Olmert and Co. To that, I am adding an article I posted, Jan.22, 2008 on my blog, below. It will clarify some issues for you.( NB the author is extreme leftist! ) " QUESTIONS WIT

                              QUESTIONS WITHOUT ANSWERS for the CRIME MINISTER by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
Numerous questions should be asked of Israel's government and the self-anointed elites who control the nation.
It seems that Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is doing everything to keep his power of office.   For this he will 1. do anything for publicity. 2. do anything to de-rail the peoples' and investigators attention from his 6 or 8 scandalous investigations - and 3.  do anything he can to retrieve his historical legacy from the mire of these investigations.

Recently, we see Olmert up to his neck in criminal investigations and wonder:

*How did he and his collaborators, both in the Kadima Party and partners outside of Government seemingly get away with so much misfeasance and malfeasance of office for so long?

*How is it that the GSS (General Security Service), i.e. the Shabak, didn't know   They pretended they did not have a clue.   Or did they know and choose to stifle their professional responsibilities?
*Did Mossad and Shabak Directors also know but choose to either do nothing or, in fact, force Olmert to obey their directives - especially in evicting Gush Katif/Gaza and Northern Samaria?

In parallel, it is no secret that Super Powers like the U.S., Russia and other influential nations - Britain, China, France - keep detailed accounts of their leaders.  The process is not only to predict likely actions but to compile dossiers on things their leaders do not want known.   With such information, one nation could easily blackmail another nation to comply with whatever they want. 

Israel's leaders have too often been caught at illegal behavior and, therefore, are too easy to blackmail.   Arik Sharon was about to be indicted for a number of illegal deals when he had his strokes.   

*Did the CIA, FBI, NSA and dozens of other U.S. Intelligence Agencies have the goods on Sharon?   Probably.   

We should all remember the infamous files of J. Edgar Hoover on government officials/politicians which he used like a subtle whip to have them do as "he" thought best.

*Do you recall Kurt Waldheim who kept his secret of being an SS officer as he controlled the U.N.?   But, the Soviets knew and pulled on his leash whenever they wanted certain agreements or lack of action by the U.N. Security Council.

Ehud Olmert was a twisty lawyer and is being charged with many illegal things for which he was ashamed (or should have been).  He was the perfect target for blackmail once he reached the highest office in Israel.   Even before the current scandals broke to the general public, he was already malleable to orders coming from President Bush, Secretary Rice and the pro-Arab U.S. State Department - which further complied with various "wishes" emanating from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc.

Ehud Olmert, in his July 30th speech of "almost" resignation, said he "made some mistakes" which was like he was a naughty child saying "I'm sorry Mommy for breaking your dishes".   What Olmert broke was the security and sovereignty of the Jewish nation.  He misused the power of office like a tyrant, both for personal gain and to fulfill the orders of foreign nations who were protecting their own interests - not Israel's.


*Do you remember Elhanan Tannenbaum, an Israeli businessman who went to Lebanon to close a deal and was taken hostage?   Reports intimated that he was a drug dealer.

*Why did Sharon trade 450 Terrorists to get him back?  

*Where did the money go when Tannenbaum was in a position to help old friends among the politicians of Israel?

Of course, this would be speculation and hearsay since Tannenbaum was never brought to trial.

*One does wonder if  Israeli high-ranking politicians and/or judges were on a drug payroll?

*Is this why Olmert didn't invade Lebanon soon enough or deeply enough to defeat Hezb'Allah in 2006? 

*Was he getting and/or does he still want to get Syrian and Lebanese drug money pouring out of the poppy fields in Lebanon? He is known to like getting envelopes of cash.  Who is paying him now?

*Is this perhaps why Ehud Barak, when he was Prime Minister, precipitously withdrew from Lebanon?  Were Israeli troops possibly getting in the way of the Opium/Heroin Poppy Harvest?

In America, Al Capone one of the biggest Chicago mob bosses and had Police, Judges, Senators on his payroll.   Their job was to keep Capone out of prison for his various crimes of bootlegging liquor during Prohibition, also prostitution, protection rackets, loan sharking, murder and every other crooked vice that existed. 

Unfortunately, Israel apparently has some of the same vices, plus some level of illegal drug use and traffic, so

*Who at the political level is being paid off?

*Also, who are known as "takers" able to be blackmailed into obedience?

Presently, we watch PM Olmert and his Kadima Gang maneuvering to stay in power as long as they can. Why should they spoil a good thing of their big salaries and perks, etc.?


Other things I wonder about:

*Will Shimon Peres as President issue a quick pardon for Olmert, in order to cut off further investigations of his (Peres') own illegal dealings?

*Who knows where these various 6 or 7 Police investigations against Olmert could lead?   Many politicians do not want to be identified as having taken bribes.  (Who would?)   Some may have gotten specially lucrative deals in business, monies that may have never been reported to the tax authorities.   

*Would high ranking individuals like DM Ehud Barak or even President Peres himself turn up in someone's black book of clients?

In a prior article, I speculated as to whether Olmert and his Kadimites might even now be shredding documents, clearing computers of their hard drives and insuring that there is no evidence left behind.   Some will recall when Olmert was Mayor of Jerusalem he ordered all the files destroyed on illegal Arab/Muslim buildings in Jerusalem.  These buildings would have been demolished but Olmert cleaned the blotter of their existence plus insuring sufficient time had pass so no legal action could be taken.

*Why would the Mayor of Jerusalem shield illegal Arab housing?

*Was it for money?

*Did Olmert want Jerusalem compromised for a future division of the Jewish Capital City?

*Was he being blackmailed by the pro-Arab U.S. State Department?

*Or was he merely following the earlier Rabin-Peres plan to use Highway #1 which divided Jerusalem into East and West in preparation for re-partition?


After Olmert made his TV speech that he would resign (after Kadima picks his successor sometime in September) suddenly Israelis and other accommodating Leftist Media started to run stories about his inability to pursue certain "piece" deals he has been negotiating with Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and Bashar Assad of Syria.  This question was answered when his chief negotiator for surrendering the Golan Heights to Syria suddenly tendered his resignation.  "But" he would stay on and continue his work under some unnamed date in the future.

It seemed to me that Olmert has started a deliberate dis-information campaign about how he no longer needed to be watched so carefully because he was now a lame duck Prime Minister.  

*Is he really?  

Perhaps the story goes something like this: While everyone ignores him and speculates on elections (a favorite Israeli sport), Olmert is in deep collusion with Condi Rice to complete what they started - as follows:

As Prime Minister, Olmert seems about to issue a proclamation that Judea and Samaria are officially no longer part of Israel and are to be completely turned over Abbas' Palestinian Authority.

In another proclamation from the office of Prime Minister, Olmert may issue a document of "quit claim" (or merely a verbal proclamation) to award Bashar of Syria the Golan Heights, down to the shores of the shrinking Kinneret.

With another kingly flourish Olmert then could agree to a dual Israeli/Palestinian or Jewish/Muslim government in Jerusalem.

Since this would be in collusion with the "lame duck" President Bush and Secretary Rice regime, no doubt, along with the European Union, the U.S., E.U., U.N. and Russia (the so-called Quartet) would quickly ratify Olmert's proclamations as binding - without any approvals by the Israeli people or the Knesset.   Israel would be "caught by his (Olmert's) tongue".

So, as you can see, Olmert and the Kadima crowd, along with Bush and Rice need to keep things quiet until the verbal trap is sprung.   Olmert must adopt a posture of weakness and, of course, the Leftist Media and NGOs in Israel must assist in the illusion.

This shame could be ended IF the Knesset decides it's best for the nation to dissolve the Government and immediately go to elections.   But, what may be good for the nation may not be good for the current Knesset as  they continue to receive their bloated salaries, expenses and other perks.   Yes, indeed, better to stay employed and let the nation be endangered.

There are many other questions - but, that's enough for now.



The Real Israeli Interests in Lebanon

by Israel Shahak *

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
July 1996, pgs. 19, 111


     When facing atrocities like those caused by the "Grapes of Wrath" operation, it is more important than ever not to lose sight of the real reasons the atrocities are committed. It means asking ourselves what are the real Israeli interests in Lebanon. Those interests are not connected with security of the northern Israeli localities. On the contrary, the security of those places (and the sight of their inhabitants sitting in their shelters) are an excuse for the pursuit of the real Israeli interests. 

The proof of this is simple: For almost seven years, from June 1985 to February 1992, there was no attack from Lebanon on Israeli territory. Then in February 1992, Israel killed a Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Mussawi, together with members of his family, while they were driving in a car north of the "Security Zone" occupied by Israel and its mercenary force, the "South Lebanon Army" (SLA). The first shelling of Israel by the Hezbollah only occurred after this murder. It is obvious that Israeli interests in keeping the "Security Zone" under its control must be very great, because it risked a shelling of its population in order to try and lessen the danger to the "Zone" by killing a leader of the forces which up to that point had not assaulted Israel.

What are those interests? We have to go back to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 in order to understand them. One of the first things that Israel did on invading Lebanon was to remove the customs barriers separating the two countries, as far as entry of Israeli merchandise is concerned.

Ordinary Lebanese goods are still forbidden to enter Israel, although a brisk import of drugs (re-exported to other countries) is going on. But Israeli merchandise enters Lebanon with the full encouragement of the Israeli government, without paying custom duties of any kind, and is also re-exported to other countries.

Needless to say, such a situation is totally unprecedented. It was first seen as such even in August 1982, by that staunch Israeli ally, Lebanese President Bashir Gemayel who, when meeting Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in Nahariya, made him very angry by requesting that the customs barriers be restored at the internationally recognized border between the two countries. Begin angrily rejected the demand of his ally, who soon after was assassinated under mysterious conditions, and there are no customs barriers to this day. The Lebanese government had tried several times to set customs north of the "Zone," but each time the response was an Israeli bombardment which lasted until the barriers again were removed. 

The presence of the Israeli navy in Lebanese territorial waters is largely intended to protect Israeli trade.

Thus it can be presumed that the main Israeli aim in Lebanon is the economic exploitation of this country and other Middle Eastern states, and that the use of the "Zone" is to serve as an instrument for the realization of this aim. "The solution" often proposed by former Prime Minister Shimon Peres with regard to the "Zone" also indicates real Israeli aims. He offered an Israeli withdrawal from it, but only on condition that "the South Lebanon army will be integrated in the Lebanese army." That is, on condition that Israel will continue to rule the "Zone."

Let me now illustrate in some detail how the "Zone" functions, by quoting from two articles by Ronen Bergman (Ha'ir, Tel Aviv's Friday newspaper, July 15 and 22, 1994) which, as the author himself admits, rely exclusively on official Israeli sources. Bergman says (July 15) that Lebanon is treated by Israel as an ordinary export market.

By Israeli law, agricultural exports are a monopoly of a government-owned company, "Agrexco," the director of whose Lebanese department, Yossi Tzafrir, and its present spokesman, Hayim Keller, were Bergman's crucial sources of information. Bergman also was helped by the director of the Lebanese department in the Agriculture Ministry, Benny Gabbay. 

"Only since 1982 has all of Lebanon stood open to Israeli trade," says Tzafrir. He insists that tough measures on the part of the Israeli security forces were, after the invasion, needed to enforce the monopoly of "Agrexco," which alone was allowed to deliver Israeli agricultural produce to several locations right behind the Lebanese border. A few duly authorized Lebanese merchants could appear at those locations in order to buy what they were offered, reload the merchandise onto their own trucks and transport it to wherever they pleased.

But, complains Tzafrir, after the June 1985 Israeli withdrawal from a large chunk of south Lebanon, "land traffic became problematic." At first Israel approached the SLA for help. Bergman complains about the SLA's incompetence and even obstacles set up by its commander, General Antoine Lahad, to smooth operations of the Israeli trade. 

He gives examples: "At all stages of Israeli trade with Lebanon and other Arab countries, senior SLA officers insisted on pocketing a hefty share of the profits. General Lahad's private driver was one of the main go-betweens between Israel and the Lebanese merchants, notwithstanding the fact that the Israeli army branded him 'a butterfly' on account of his cowardice."

Bergman's July 22 article describes in ample detail how General Lahad would from time to time (apparently when he felt relatively strong vis-a-vis Israel) temporarily ban imports of specific commodities into his "Zone" in order to thus extort a heftier bribe.

Alternatives to the SLA

     It was thus found advisable to search for a trade route that would not depend on Lahad's good graces. The first-adopted solution was to let some major interested Lebanese merchants live in Israel, and thus place them beyond Lahad's reach. 

In his July 15 article, Bergman portrays one of the richest among those merchants, Amin El-Haj. "For over 15 years he was handling a large part of Israeli trade with Lebanon and indirectly with other Arab countries. Now he is living in Nahariya, connected by a special phone line to the central Lebanese phone-exchange." 

The next stage in bypassing Lahad was to construct a harbor in Nakura, in the "Zone," made off-limits for the SLA. From Nakura, ships would take the Israeli produce to Beirut and other Lebanese ports. "Often those ships would be escorted by an Israeli navy escort up to a safe distance from Beirut." Actually, explains Tzafrir, most of those ships, "which navigate under the flags of various Latin American countries," don't depart from Nakura, except in their records. "They really depart from Haifa or Ashdod." Needless to say, the uninterrupted and massive presence of the Israeli navy in Lebanese territorial waters, although normally justified as an "anti- 
terrorist measure," is largely intended to protect Israeli trade.

Let me refrain from further descriptions, especially in the view of the constantly changing nature of that trade, directed not only to Lebanon but through it to other Arab countries. Instead, let me pass to the second economic Israeli interest in Lebanon, also served by its rule of the "Zone," namely the drug trade. 

Although there are plentiful sources, I will rely on a comprehensive article by Etty Hassid ("Yerushalaim," Jerusalem Friday Paper, July 22). She offers her conclusions at the very beginning of her article: "Even though it may be hard to believe, the state of Israel is actively engaged in drug trade, especially on its northern Lebanese borders. The participants are on one side the Israeli army, Shabak, Mossad and the Israeli police, and on the other side, Lebanese drug merchants, Israeli Bedouins from the Negev and retired [Israeli] senior officers. The operational principle is: We will close our eyes to all the filth to which you stoop, and even give you some money, if only you provide us with intelligence of interest to us. In my article I am going to prove it or at least to substantiate it as highly probable on the basis of the trials of large-scale drug merchants. 

"Since I was forced by censorship to skip some facts, let me tell you that the realities are even more ghastly than what you find here. What I do reveal is ghastly enough. It turns out that the state of Israel, which professes to wage an uncompromising struggle with the epidemic of drug addiction, is in reality the largest-scale importer of drugs in the Middle East. It is as if we were trying with one hand to apprehend the drug users and peddlers or at least pretending to do so, while using the other hand to plunge the syringe deep into the drug addict's veins."

As evidence for this conclusion, Hassid uses minutes of secret trials of both Israelis and Lebanese charged with big drug offenses in Israeli courts. But she also says that "in recent years a number of publications have appeared abroad disclosing information about involvement in drug trade by individuals serving in Israeli security services." She discusses in detail only one such affair, which she investigated by approaching the Israeli lawyer of one defendant so involved, Yosef Amit, an ex-major in military intelligence Unit 504. According to the London magazine Foreign Report of July 1993, this unit was known as 'mini-Mossad.'" 

As sometimes happens to people in "the only democracy of the Middle East," Amit "disappeared" in 1986 and his name couldn't be mentioned in the media. The London publication then revealed that he had been secretly sentenced in Israel for unspecified "security offenses" in Lebanon. Foreign Report disclosed that Amit's offenses were connected with the regular work of military intelligence Unit 504, whose agents are remunerated by hashish acquired in "special operations in Lebanon." The drug was said to be transferred to Cairo whenever needed. 

According to Hassid, Amit's subordinate was caught selling hashish "apparently derived from the military intelligence central stockpiles" for his own profit. Since "the suspicion rebounded on Amit," he also was charged.

"Officially Accepted" Drug Trading

     Hassid also was able to record other trials of high-ranking Israeli officers serving in Lebanon who were charged with trade in hard drugs. In the case of Colonel Meir Binyamin, charged with such trade in 1989, the accused was acquitted, since the court accepted the argument of his advocate, Meir Ziv, that his client's undenied involvement in the drug trade was carried out under orders of his superiors and conformed to an "officially accepted method of trading in drugs." Colonel Binyamin also claimed, rather plausibly, that "in reality the Israeli authorities are manipulated by large-scale Lebanese drug traders who are exploiting their good relations with the [Israeli] police for the sake of smuggling enormous quantities of drugs behind their backs." 

In substantiating this claim, two Israeli witnesses, subcontractors of large-scale Lebanese drug merchant Ramzi Nahara, "with long records of excellent cooperation with Israel," testified that in one of their operations they "smuggled 250 kg. of heroin into Israel." Ramzi Nahara himself also testified in this case. Hassid describes Nahara's deals in detail. 

Let me select only one of his feats. A single transport, detected in Israel by sheer chance by the traffic police due to a minor traffic infraction, consisted of 3,000 kg. of hashish destined for re-export to Egypt. Let me quote here an opinion of advocate Ziv with which I concur. "The state of Israel is by far the largest importer of drugs into Israel itself. The import is sponsored by the police, under the hardly credible pretext that it will help catch drug offenders."

Many more stories of this nature could be adduced, but the Israeli involvement in the drug trade warrants some conclusions in regard to the nature of political realities in the Middle East. There are grounds to suspect that Israeli encouragement of the drug trade, and consequently also of drug consumption, cannot be entirely explained by the familiar excuse of acquiring intelligence, extending influence and reaping profits. Part of the motivation must be to weaken the disaffection of Middle Eastern masses by encouraging drug addiction and thus promoting political apathy. The suspicion can be buttressed if we consider the known facts about the encouragement of Palestinian drug dealers by the Israeli authorities. The coddling of Palestinian drug dealers was one of the reasons for the outbreak of the intifada.

Lastly, massive involvement of Israeli intelligence in drug trafficking must be condoned by its American opposite numbers. Ample precedents exist for that kind of policy. However, a support for the Is-raeli drug trade is a rather safe affair. If Israeli involvement in the narcotics trade were exposed in the U.S., powerful organizations such as AIPAC would scream bloody murder. 

A lot of American liberals, happy to denounce American intelligence for encouraging drug traffickers, would protest if Israeli intelligence were denounced for anything. For example, the invasion of Panama was said to be launched for the sake of suppressing the drug trade: yet the well-documented Israeli connections with Noriega passed almost unnoticed by the U.S. media. It can therefore be tentatively presumed that in its encouragement of drug traffic and traffickers, as in much else, Israel is secure so far as the U.S. media are concerned. This would at least partly explain why this policy works.

All this is somewhat distant from the affairs of Lebanon as described by the U.S. media. I have, however, no doubt that it is the Israeli economic interest, as represented by an export of goods without customs and traffic in drugs, that determines the Israeli insistence on keeping the "Zone" under its rule. 

The Israeli wars in Lebanon should be compared to the Opium Wars of the 19th century. For an effective pursuit of the trade interests described here, Israeli rule over the "Zone" is necessary, and this, in turn, guarantees the continuation of the wars in Lebanon.


   *About the Author:

Israel Shahak was born on April 28, 1933 in Warsaw, Poland. In 1943-5, the Nazis in the Poniatowo and Bergen–Belsen concentration camps imprisoned Shahak and his parents. The 12–year–old Shahak and his mother immigrated to Palestine after the liberation of the camps in 1945. In the 1960s, while working as Professor of Chemistry at Hebrew University, Shahak became one of Israel´s leading voices of dissent. In 1970 he was elected chairman of the Israeli Human and Civil Rights League, and spent the next three decades strongly advocating equality and civil rights. In the 1990s, Shahak emerged as one of the strongest critics of the Oslo 'peace process', which he denounced as a fraud and a vehicle for making the Israeli occupation more efficient.









  English Op-Ed

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