The Saudi government daily Al-Watan in December published a two part series, the first on Israel ("the governess of terrorism") and the second "uncovering" how world Jewry is allegedly "implementing their strategic hellish plan to take over the world."
Fortunately, paranoid nonsense, so prevalent in the Arab world, rarely resonates in Israel, which is the more reason to warn against paranoid nonsense--in the form of conspiracy theories about the Rabin assassination--that has been gaining a foothold among elements of the Israeli right. Haifa University economics professor Steven Plaut, who has followed the "career" of Barry Chamish, the source of these lunatic theories, notes that Chamish has spent most of said career "documenting" UFO abductions. "After Rabin was killed," writes Plaut, "Chamish invented a complex 'theory' about the assassination, which reads like a bad script for an Oliver Stone flick. Basically, he claims Shimon Peres plotted the assassination, which was carried out by the Israeli secret service and Yigal Amir was a 'patsy' who did not really shoot Rabin, but instead there were other killers on some Tel Aviv grassy knoll, led by Rabin's own bodyguard. Chamish also believes that the entire world is a large puppet show controlled by a demonic conspiracy of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Chicago-based foreign policy debating society usually credited with world domination by neo-Nazis and militiamen who blew up [buildings in] Oklahoma City and by similar people in the U.S., people who have been described by Rush Limbaugh as 'kooks.'"
Plaut points out that Chamish "has not produced a shred of real evidence. Instead he has raised a series of 'questions' regarding seeming inconsistencies (seeming to him, that is) the official account of the assassination." Plaut notes that while "at least 85% of Chamish's 'questions' have been refuted by myself and others," Chamish "invents 'questions' faster than they can be debunked and so there is a perpetual stock of 'unanswered questions.'" Plaut observes: "Chamish has yet to explain how come no one has ever let Yigal Amir in on the fact that he was merely a 'patsy' who fired blanks and so served only as a tool for a coverup, nor why people supposedly with access to the most important intelligence secrets of the country ran with them to Chamish instead of to a real journalist or to the police."
Plaut writes of Chamish himself more with pity than anger. Chamish suggests a possible link between the Rabin assassination and the downing of John F. Kennedy Jr.'s plane (on the theory Kennedy was investigating the assassination at that time). He views Daniel Pipes as an agent of the Council on Foreign Relations and claims Plaut himself was "planted" in Israel by the Federal Reserve Bank to destroy the Israeli economy. "Chamish," says Plaut, "discovers a new global conspiracy led by Shimon Peres and the Council on Foreign Relations every time he turns on a Star Trek re-run."
The real problem, Plaut rightly observes, is that by failing to strongly separate itself from Chamish and his cult followers, Israel's legitimate right-wing gives the left an opening to defend its own indefensible policies, painting the right as a lunatic fringe. "Sure, Oslo is murdering scores of Jews by the month, but what alternative is there when those in the anti-Oslo camp are following Chamish's pied pipe?" The Leftist media, says Plaut, are able "to paint the entire movement opposing Oslo as nothing but flakes and fruitcakes." The Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot devoted a six page weekend magazine feature story to a hatchet job on the Chamish cult in the wake of a "convention" it held in November in Jerusalem. Plaut notes that in fact the article was too "kind and gentle," failing to mention Chamish's long UFO career and his Council on Foreign Relations delusions. (Plaut fails to mention the most likely source of this omission--the laziness of Israeli journalists in exploring the background of their subjects.)
"The real problem" writes Plaut, "is not that Yediot decided to 'out' Chamish and his followers. The real problem is that the same piece used the Chamish cult story as a bludgeon to attack the entire anti-Oslo dissident movement. And the professors and radio people who have granted credence to Chamish's ravings have only themselves to blame. If Oslo continues to produce hundreds of Jewish deaths, in small part the members of the Israeli Right who have allowed Chamish to rant and posture in their names will hold some blame."
Israel Defense Forces Brigade Commander Effie Cohen spotted, chased down, surrounded--and let go free--an Arab terrorist cell on its way to attack Israelis in Kadim and Ganim (east of the Israeli town of Hadera). Cohen said he had reached an agreement with the PA that its forces would arrest the terrorists! Cohen told Is-
(Continued on p.9)
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Outpost - 2 - January 2002