Joined: 12 Oct 2006
|Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:34 am Post subject: Claims related to Jews and Israel
|Conspiracy theories including Jewish or Israeli involvement in the September 11 attacks are "a core part of the belief system of anti-Semites and millions of others around the world," according to the Anti-Defamation League. While some 9/11 conspiracy theorists claim there was an Israeli or Jewish involvement in the September 11 attacks,others within the movement have worked to debunk their claims and to expose websites and individuals engaging in Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial
4,000 Jewish employees did not attend work at the WTC on September 11
This unsubstantiated and widely debunked claim made by Al-Manar, the television station of Hezbollah, a sworn enemy of Israel, has been repeated by a wide variety of other sources, such as Amiri Baraka. The original Al-Manar claim, posted September 17, 2001 on the English language version of the website of Al-Manar website, was:
"With the announcement of the attacks at the World Trade Center in New York, the international media, particularly the Israeli one, hurried to take advantage of the incident and started mourning 4,000 Israelis who work at the two towers. Then suddenly, no one ever mentioned anything about those Israelis and later it became clear that they remarkably did not show up in their jobs the day the incident took place. No one talked about any Israeli being killed or wounded in the attacks."
Al-Manar further claimed that "Arab diplomatic sources revealed to the Jordanian al-Watan newspaper that those Israelis remained absent that day based on hints from the Israeli General Security apparatus, the Shabak".It is unclear whether al-Watan (a minor Jordanian newspaper with no website) made these claims or who (if anyone) the alleged "Arab diplomatic sources" were. No independent confirmation has been produced for this claim.
In some versions of the story circulated on the Internet, the title was changed to "4,000 Jewish Employees in WTC Absent the Day of the Attack" from its original "4000 Israeli Employees in WTC Absent the Day of the Attack", spawning a further rumor that not only Israeli but all Jewish employees stayed away. On September 12 an American Web site called "Information Times" published an article with the headline "4,000 Jews Did Not Go To Work At WTC On Sept. 11," which it credited to "AL-MANAR Television Special Investigative Report." According to Slate.com, "The '4,000 Jews' page is easily forwarded as e-mail, and this may explain the message's rapid dissemination." The rumor was also published; according to the United States Department of State "Syria's government-owned Al Thawra newspaper may have been the first newspaper to make the "4,000 Jews" claim... its September 15th edition falsely claimed 'four thousand Jews were absent from their work on the day of the explosions.'"
The figure "4,000" was probably taken by Al-Manar from a Jerusalem Post article of September 12 (p. 3) which said "The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem has so far received the names of 4,000 Israelis believed to have been in the areas of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon at the time of the attack." This number was obviously not (as Al-Manar claimed) restricted to employees; in fact, Tsviya Shimon, minister of administrative affairs for the Israeli consulate and mission in New York, said on September 14 "that there might have been up to 100 Israeli citizens working in the World Trade Center".
Actual Israeli and Jewish deaths
There were a total of 5 Israeli deaths in the attack (Alona Avraham, Leon Lebor, Shay Levinhar, Daniel Lewin, Haggai Sheffi), of which 3 were in the World Trade Center and 2 were on the planes (4 are listed as American on most lists, presumably having dual citizenship.)
Early estimates of Israeli deaths, as of the total death toll and the death toll for other countries' citizens (e.g. India) proved substantially overestimated. George W. Bush cited the figure of 130 in his speech on September 20th.
The number of Jewish victims was considerably higher, typically estimated at around 400; according to the United States Department of State
A total of 2,071 occupants of the World Trade Center died on September 11, among the 2,749 victims of the WTC attacks. According to an article in the October 11, 2001, Wall Street Journal, roughly 1,700 people had listed the religion of a person missing in the WTC attacks; approximately 10% were Jewish. A later article, in the September 5, 2002, Jewish Week, states, "based on the list of names, biographical information compiled by The New York Times, and information from records at the Medical Examiner's Office, there were at least 400 victims either confirmed or strongly believed to be Jewish." This would be approximately 15% of the total victims of the WTC attacks. A partial list of 390 Cantor Fitzgerald employees who died (out of 658 in the company) lists 49 Jewish memorial services, which is between 12% and 13%. This 10-15% estimate of Jewish fatalities tracks closely with the percentage of Jews living in the New York area. According to the 2002 American Jewish Year Book, 9% of the population of New York State, where 64% of the WTC victims lived, is Jewish. A 2002 study estimated that New York City's population was 12% Jewish. Forty-three percent of the WTC victims lived in New York City. Thus, the number of Jewish victims correlates very closely with the number of Jewish residents in New York. If 4,000 Jews had not reported for work on September 11, the number of Jewish victims would have been much lower than 10-15%.
Furthermore, many Orthodox Jews left for work later than usual that day due to Selichot (additional prayers recited around the time of Rosh Hashanah).
Sharon was allegedly warned by Shabak to stay away from New York
Al-Manar also made related claims that then-prime minister Ariel Sharon was warned to stay away from New York:
Suspicions had increased further after Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot revealed that the Shabak prevented Israeli premier Ariel Sharon from traveling to New York and particularly to the city's eastern coast to participate in a festival organized by the Zionist organizations in support of Israel. Aharon Bernie, the commentator at the newspaper, brought up the issue and came up with a negative conclusion, saying "no answer". He then asked about the clue behind the Shabak's position in preventing Sharon's participation, and again without giving an answer.
Detractors say that this theory does not hold up to examination. A pro-Israel rally led by the United Jewish Communities, expected to include 50,000 people, had been planned for September 23, 2001. Ariel Sharon had been scheduled to speak there, but it was canceled on September 12. According to The Forward, Sharon was still scheduled to speak there at the time of cancellation.
There was no article in Yediot Aharonot that contains the information cited by Al-Manar, nor was there a columnist named Aharon Bernie. There is an Israeli reporter named Aharon Barnea of Israel's Channel 2 News whose wife Amalia works for Yediot Aharonot; it has been speculated that "Aharon Bernie" arose as a misspelling of this name.
Mossad connection to filming of September 11 attacks with "puzzling behavior"
This claim formed part of the Al-Manar report mentioned above. The claim is that:
For its part, the Israeli Ha'aretz' newspaper reported that the FBI arrested five Israelis four hours after the attack on the Twin Towers while filming the smoking skyline from the roof of their company's building. The FBI had arrested the five for "puzzling behavior". They are said to have been caught videotaping the disaster in what was interpreted by some as cries of joy and mockery.
This claim has small tidbits of fact but is essentially false. The Israeli reporter Yossi Melman had reported in Haaretz on September 17, 2001, using the words "puzzling behavior." Several mainstream Western media groups researched this. On June 21, 2002, ABC published a report that five Israelis seen filming the events of September 11 in New York and looking "happy" were subsequently arrested, claiming (on the authority of The Forward) that the "FBI concluded that two of the men were Israeli intelligence operatives" but had no advance knowledge of the September 11 attacks.
The Forward had speculated that the five might be a possible Mossad surveillance operation conducted not against the US but against "radical Islamic networks suspected of links to Middle East terrorism." Mossad was known to have been infiltrating Al Qaeda at the time. Sivan Kurzberg, Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Ellner and Omer Marmari, the five Israelis who were kept in custody in the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park for approximately two months were eventually deported back to Israel on November 20-21, 2001. Ellner and others in the prison have complained of abuse by prison guards. After returning to Israel, the five denied laughing at the event and claimed that they had filmed its aftermath "just as many other people did", and that their arrest was a result of their neighbour's false accusations due to a personal conflict.
As reported in the Scotland-based Sunday Herald on Nov 2, 2003, a resident at Liberty State Park noticed the five on top of their white van, looking "happy", upon which the former called the police. Later that day, the van was discovered and its occupants arrested. In the van were found, among other things, recent photographs of the arrestees posing in jovial fashion with the WTC burning in the background. A search of these persons' workplace, Urban Moving in Weehawken, turned up a fellow employee who complained that those arrested had laughed and joked about the WTC attack. According to the story, "This makes it clear that there was no suggestion whatsoever from within American intelligence that the Israelis were colluding with the 9/11 hijackers."
Israel advance warning
According to a September 16, 2001 story in The Daily Telegraph, Israel had sent two Mossad agents to Washington in August to warn both the FBI and CIA in August of an imminent large-scale attack involving a large cell of up to 200 terrorists. An unnamed senior Israeli security official was quoted as saying "They had no specific information about what was being planned but linked the plot to Osama bin Laden and told the Americans that there were strong grounds for suspecting Iraqi involvement."