RIP Ariel Sharon

January 12th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

After eight years in a coma, has mercifully died.

The Herald has a good biography of his life from the Associated Press. His life and legacy are complex. He has been a war hero, but also a disgraced leader over the 1982 massacres. He ultimately became Prime Minister and turned away from his previous hardline views and did what no other Israeli PM has done – withdrawing settlements from disputed territories. He left Likud to form the centrist Kadima and it became ’s most popular party.

While unlikely, it is possible we may have got some sort of peace settlement if he had not had his stroke just before the elections. Israelis seem more prepared to accept a peace settlement if it is pushed by a politician who has a strong military background – I guess they are seen as acting from a position of strength, not weakness.

His legacy is mixed, and we’ll never know what may have happened if his stroke had not occurred. But I am glad he finally has his rest after eight years in a coma.

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38 Responses to “RIP Ariel Sharon”

  1. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    [Sharon] did what no other Israeli PM has done – withdrawing settlements from disputed territories

    Incorrect. Sinai was a disputed territory and Begin withdrew from it.

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  2. Brad (75 comments) says:

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer fella

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  3. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    Another war criminal escapes justice.

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  4. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    In the words of Seinfeld “I guess we all look like War Criminals to you”

    Meanwhile in Syria, Iran, Egypt, Gaza….

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  5. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    Good riddance to bad rubbish!

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  6. Reid (16,454 comments) says:

    Sharon was a war criminal, until he had a 180 epiphany and proposed a peace settlement, at which point he got taken out of play, just like Rabin was and just like Olmert was.

    http://www.roitov.com/articles/sharon.htm

    http://21stcenturywire.com/2014/01/04/what-happened-to-israeli-pm-ariel-sharon/

    In the second link you see what they did to him. I remember reading an analysis from an astute source (who was Jewish BTW) at the time he first had the stroke which discussed several anomalies like the time it took to get him to hospital by ambulance which was odd since a medivac helicopter would have been much faster and there were several other anomalies I can’t recall. But his prediction at the time was they were making an example out of Sharon lest anyone else consider doing what he attempted. Which of course Olmert did and look what happened to him. But look at that second link and consider whether in fact that’s exactly what they were doing.

    But pure coincidence that 3/3 Israeli PMs who attempt a peace settlement have been unnaturally removed from office? Of course it is.

    The source BTW was Joseph Ehrlich, he’s written a book called Clarity. You should read it, Tim. I’ll buy it for you if you like.

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  7. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    Sharon was a war criminal

    War crimes generally require an intention to carry out a crime. Sharon did not have such an intention (he did not for example say anything like “the phalangists will shoot the Palestinians and my hands will be clean). What happened was that he was _negligent_ in failing to ensure the safety of the refugees against a known threat. Now I’ve never heard of someone being a war criminal through an act of negligence before and so I suspect that people who call Sharon a war criminal are deliberately debasing the concept to get a rhetorical hit.

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  8. Reid (16,454 comments) says:

    people who call Sharon a war criminal are deliberately debasing the concept to get a rhetorical hit

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabra_and_Shatila_massacre

    That’s why metcalph. And note that wiki is not known for being critical of anything Israel, which makes such a link a bit more substantial than the normal lightweight crap it usually brings forth.

    Anyway that’s my last comment on whether or not he was, I don’t care to debate that aspect for it’s been traversed numerous times and is fearfully boring to me. It’s irrelevant to me anyway since IMO he redeemed himself in the final months of his office.

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  9. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    Reid – sure, as mentioned in the past, I’ll read the book, but I reserve the right to debate/argue it as I see fit, publicly. :-)

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  10. Reid (16,454 comments) says:

    Yes. :)

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  11. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    THe the nasty venal lefties have crawled out from under their rocks to spit venom.

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  12. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    That’s why metcalph. And note that wiki is not known for being critical of anything Israel, which makes such a link a bit more substantial than the normal lightweight crap it usually brings forth.

    Anyway that’s my last comment on whether or not he was, I don’t care to debate that aspect for it’s been traversed numerous times and is fearfully boring to me.

    In other words, Reid won’t justify his rhetoric but points to a wiki link and make some tendentious claim about wikipedia. I should note that his link does not call Sharon a war criminal but reports a Commissions view that be bore personal responisbility for ignoring the danger, thus making my point about the negligence. And then he runs away from the debate.

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  13. JC (956 comments) says:

    I well remember the 60s and early 70s.. Israel was one of the West’s most admired and liked country for its feisty self reliance, innovation and stance against 150 million genocidal maniacs.

    Then the oil bearing Arab nations put a price on Western loyalty, friendship, sense of justice and morality and put on an oil embargo.. very quickly Israel became one of the most hated countries in the Western world.

    Old Sharon never did much to apologise for Israel’s existence.. did he.

    JC

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  14. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    The filthy lefties would, no doubt, be in support of the Islam murderers.

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  15. cha (4,017 comments) says:

    Sharon was from a very different world than the one most of us live in. He was a lethal and at times brutal military commander but he wasn’t the only one from that era to use terribly brutal tactics. A complex man who leaves a legacy that’s not all good and not all bad.

    The commission of inquiry into the events at the refugee camps in Beirut- 8 February 1983:

    It is true that no clear warning Was provided by military intelligence or the Mossad about what might happen if the Phalangist forces entered the camps, and we will relate to this matter when we discuss the responsibility of the director of Military Intelligence and the head of the Mossad. But in our view, even without such warning, it is impossible to justify the Minister of Defense’s disregard of the danger of a massacre. We will not repeat here what we have already said above about the widespread knowledge regarding the Phalangists’ combat ethics, their feelings of hatred toward the Palestinians, and their leaders’ plans for the future of the Palestinians when said leaders would assume power. Besides this general knowledge, the Defense Minister also had special reports from his not inconsiderable [number of] meetings with the Phalangist heads before Bashir’s assassination.

    [...]

    The Minister of Defense, Mr. Ariel Sharon

    We have found, as has been detailed in this report, that the Minister of Defense bears personal responsibility. In our opinion, it is fitting that the Minister of Defense draw the appropriate personal conclusions arising out of the defects revealed with regard to the manner in which he discharged the duties of his office – and if necessary, that the Prime Minister consider whether he should exercise his authority under Section 21-A(a) of the Basic Law: the Government, according to which “the Prime Minister may, after informing the Cabinet of his intention to do so, remove a minister from office.”

    http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/mfadocuments/yearbook6/pages/104%20report%20of%20the%20commission%20of%20inquiry%20into%20the%20e.aspx

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  16. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    The Sabra and Shatila Massacre by Christian Phalangists was truly atrocious.

    Nobody ever seems to remember the 582 Christian Civilians massacred in the 1976 Damour Massacre by the PLO and Palestinians in Lebanon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damour_massacre

    The Sabra / Shatila was a reprisal attack for that.

    I abhor reprisal attacks. Strangely, many of the far left seem to think they are OK. At least only when they come from a side they support.

    Israel somehow gets blamed for Arab attacks, regardless of who the perpetrators or victims are.

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  17. jakejakejake (134 comments) says:

    The Damour massacre was a reprisal attack for Black Saturday and the Karantina attack where many more Lebanese Muslim civilians and babbies were slaughtered in the name of Jesus.

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  18. DJP6-25 (1,387 comments) says:

    RIP Ariel Sharon.

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  19. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    we’ll never know what may have happened if his stroke had not occurred.

    Oh I think we can be pretty confident that more Palestinians would have been murdered by Israel and the killers “exonerated”.

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  20. Fletch (6,387 comments) says:

    There’s a very good obituary/commentary from Elliott Abrams (who was a national security advisor to Bush) on the Commentary Magazine website.

    Sharon was not so simple: he was at different times clever, smart, devious, emotional, unemotional, funny, dry, tough, compromising, unyielding. He was a pariah who transformed himself by the end of his public career into an extremely successful politician and widely admired statesman. Nicknamed the “bulldozer” for both his physical appearance and his military tactics, in politics he was unpredictable and wily. A hero of the right for decades until his decision to withdraw from Gaza in 2005, the “father of the settlements” pulled all the settlements out of Gaza and became very briefly the hero of the “peace camp.” This founder of the Likud Party pulled Likud apart and founded a new party called Kadima when his plans required it. At one point he lacked a majority in his own cabinet to pass the Gaza withdrawal plan, so he summoned two unconvinced ministers to his office—to fire them so he would have the majority in a smaller cabinet. They knew what was coming so they refused to meet with him, whereupon he fired them by fax. It was not easy to get around Ariel Sharon once he had made up his mind.

    All these contradictions made him a fascinating man to watch and to deal with. Yet he really was, I think, a simple man at root. He saw himself as a Jew whose job it was to protect the Jewish state. In early 2003, President George W. Bush sent deputy national security advisor Steve Hadley and me (I was the senior Mideast official on the NSC) to meet with him, hear him out, and see what he thought of the various peace plans. Was he open to compromises? What he told us, according to my notes of the meeting, was this:

    I took risks personally but never took any risks with the security of the State of Israel. I appreciate Arab promises but will take seriously only tangible performance.  For tangible performance I will take tangible steps.  Israel is a tiny small country.  From the Jordan River to Jerusalem is only 17.5 miles.  Before 1967, the Knesset was in range of machine guns south of Jerusalem. From the Green Line to Tel Aviv is 11 miles.  From the sea at Netanya to Tulkarm is 9 miles.  Two-thirds of the Jewish population lives is a narrow strip on the coastal plain.  Between Haifa and Ashdod, which is 80 miles, is two-thirds of the Jewish population, our only international airport, and most of our infrastructure.  All of that is overlooked by the hills of Judea and Samaria.

    I am a Jew above all and feel the responsibility to the future of the Jewish people on my shoulders.  After what happened in the past, I will not let the future of the Jewish people depend on anyone, even our closest friends.  Especially when you saw the crowds cheering Saddam who killed even members of his own family and government.  With the deepest friendship and appreciation, we do not choose to be the lamb, but not the lion either.  I will not sacrifice the nation.  I come from a farm family who settled here but I deal with these problems with a cold mind.  I met with the Pope, who said this is Terra Sancta to all, but Terra Promisa for the Jews only. 

    So: “a Jew above all” who wanted Jews to be able to make their own decisions and protect themselves in their sovereign state. I often thought he divided the world into two groups, Jews and all the rest, the latter being further divided into real friends like George W. Bush and real enemies—like most of the Arabs. On this he was unsentimental in the extreme. In the summer of 2005 Sharon gave then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a tour of his ranch, after which the Israeli and American teams sat down for a meal.  Sharon sat silently for a while, as he often did, eating huge amounts of food while he listened to the conversation.  Several of the Israelis were criticizing the Palestinians and their leaders harshly: their actions, their political culture, their history.  Eventually Sharon jumped in and said, “I am going to defend the Palestinians.  I have known the Palestinians my whole life.  I was raised with them here.  Of all the Arabs, the Palestinians are the most talented, and they have the best sense of humor.  But there are two problems: their desire to murder and their taste for Jewish blood; and their treacherous ingratitude.”

    The whole piece is quite long but worth reading to get a sense of the man.

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/ariel-sharon-his-eye-was-not-dim/

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  21. JC (956 comments) says:

    “I am a Jew above all and feel the responsibility to the future of the Jewish people on my shoulders. After what happened in the past, I will not let the future of the Jewish people depend on anyone, even our closest friends.”

    This is of course what 85% (Pew poll some years ago) of the world “really” hate about the Jews and Israel.. they persist and will not depend on the fickle West for their survival.

    You could say they learned something from the last 2000 years.

    JC

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  22. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    metcalf, what were the settlements in the Sinai that were withdrawn from?

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  23. cha (4,017 comments) says:

    Good read.

    http://world.time.com/2014/01/11/ariel-sharon-israels-soldier-and-strongman-1928-2014/

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  24. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    SPC, wikipedia lists about ten.

    Avshalom, Dikla, the Sonesta Hotel, Holit, Netev HaAsara, Neviot, Ofira, Sufa, Talmei Yosef and Yamet,

    Note that many of the names were reused for settlements elsewhere after Israel handed over Sinai in 1982.

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  25. mara (784 comments) says:

    When you are surrounded on all sides by the enemy do you want to be led by a wimp or a warrior?

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  26. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Then the oil bearing Arab nations put a price on Western loyalty, friendship, sense of justice and morality and put on an oil embargo.. very quickly Israel became one of the most hated countries in the Western world.

    Hardly. The average American is just a bit miffed that billions of US taxpayers’ money is spent propping up Israel and that the US makes diplomatic decisions that sacrifice US interests for Israeli interests. The reason for this is the powerful Jewish lobby that everyone is supposed to pretend does not exist. Until it is neutered, the silliness will continue.

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  27. Ryan Sproull (7,144 comments) says:

    Hardly. The average American is just a bit miffed that billions of US taxpayers’ money is spent propping up Israel and that the US makes diplomatic decisions that sacrifice US interests for Israeli interests. The reason for this is the powerful Jewish lobby that everyone is supposed to pretend does not exist. Until it is neutered, the silliness will continue.

    The US government doesn’t need a “powerful Jewish lobby” to have a good reason for maintaining an advanced military client state in the most strategically significant region of the world.

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  28. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    The Palestine mandate was created as British imperial policy to have a dependent client vassal. That the Jews sought national independence (gave up this imperial protection) just provided an opportunity to the French and then the Americans.

    Was western support for Iran and Saudi Arabia dependent on the powerful oil lobby or dependence on oil for the western economy?

    The Christian lobby within the Republican Party is more pro Zionist right or wrong than the Jewish lobby within the Democrat Party.

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  29. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    JC, the reason for the transformation in opinion about Israel within Europe is the 1977 decision to settle the West Bank while it was under occupation. Since then to fence off these settlements beyond the 67 border into a greater Israel and now the aspiration to add this territory to Israel all while constantly adding to the settlement building.

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  30. RRM (9,920 comments) says:

    8 years in a coma! Jesus. I hope he wasn’t aware the whole time.

    Sounds like he was the man for that time and place, RIP.

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  31. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Let’s follow the logic. Eradicate the one tiny Jewish state in the world, and replace it with a 23rd Arab state. Makes sense…if you’re an imbecile.

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  32. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    “Palestinians” are, bytheway, Egyptians, Jordanians, Saudis, Lebanese, Syrians, Iraquis and Iranians. Yasser Arafat was Egyptian.

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  33. Yoza (1,872 comments) says:

    iMP (1,908 comments) says:
    January 13th, 2014 at 8:25 am

    “Palestinians” are, bytheway, Egyptians, Jordanians, Saudis, Lebanese, Syrians, Iraquis and Iranians. Yasser Arafat was Egyptian.

    As opposed to the ruling Israeli clique which is European.

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  34. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    iMP – if Arafat was Egyptian because he was born in Cairo, what does that make every Jewish migrant to Israel?

    His father was born in Gaza, his mother was born in Jerusalem. 5 of his 6 siblings were born in Palestine.

    His grandmother was Egyptian and his father went to Egypt to unsuccessfully claim family land from her estate.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasser_Arafat

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  35. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    iMP, the peace process is about having a 23rd Arab state alongside the state of Israel, not replacing it. These were the terms on which the state of Israel was founded and recognised. Something that Ariel Sharon himself came to recognise – that their success in occupying and colonising land beyond their borders was becoming the greatest threat to their legitimacy as a state.

    Sometimes it is those who support having more more more are the greatest threat to ones survival. His own example of remaining in an onerous job without restraining his lifestyle for health reasons provides a sad template.

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  36. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Logically, the evidence offers but two options: either Sharon as prime minister had prior knowledge of 9-11 and is one of the chief architects of the terror attacks or the Mossad, Israel’s military intelligence agency, is under the command of an outside authority, and was involved in a massive covert operation in the United States without the knowledge of the prime minister.

    For the following reasons, the second option seems highly unlikely:

    Were the hordes of Israeli intelligence agents, including some 200 fake movers and art students nabbed by police in the United States in connection with the terror attacks of 9-11, simply part of a rogue operation, which Sharon, the master of Israeli state-sponsored terrorism, was completely unaware of?

    Did the Mossad establish phony moving companies in the New York City area and have dozens of agents with prior knowledge, like those arrested in New Jersey on 9-11, running around the country in moving vans without the prime minister knowing?

    Were the Odigo instant text message warnings, which clearly showed prior knowledge of the attacks and which were received by Israeli employees of the Mossad-operated company hours before the first plane hit, being sent between agents of a rogue terror network of which Sharon had no control or knowledge?

    http://iamthewitness.com/Bollyn/Bollyn-Ariel-Sharon.html

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  37. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    UT, do the Israelis have people on the ground in the USA working to identify threats to Jews in the US. Yes. Are they on the alert for Arabs in the USA who may be targeting Jews there. Yes. Does this mean Jews organised 9/111. No.

    Were they aware of the risk of airline hijackings. Yes. Their possible use to hit buildings. Yes.

    Following Arabs to the airports identifies a possible hijacking. Not the purpose.

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  38. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    SPC, the Zionist state of Israel has a history on false flag terrorism from the time of the Lavon Affair. Also, the attack on the USS Liberty shows that the Zionists have scant regard for their “allies”.

    http://wikispooks.com/wiki/9/11:Israel_did_it

    1 Acknowledgments
    2 Control of World Trade Center Complex
    2.1 Four key Zionist Network assets
    2.2 WTC Security In Zionist Hands
    2.2.1 Pre-Knowledge of Anthrax Mailings
    2.2.2 Who Killed John O’Neil?
    2.3 Airport Security In Israeli Hands
    3 Prior Knowledge
    3.1 Gomel Chesed Cemetery Incident
    3.2 Israeli Citizens Get Tipped Off
    3.3 Anomalous trading in the Securities Markets
    3.4 Other forewarnings
    4 Mossad connections
    4.1 U.S. Army Study: On Mossad
    4.2 Israeli espionage around 9/11
    4.3 After 9/11 – More detentions of Israelis
    4.4 Five Dancing Israelis
    4.5 “We are not your problem”?
    4.6 Truck Bomb Destined for George Washington Bridge
    4.7 Mural Van
    4.8 Urban Moving Systems
    4.9 Israeli Intelligence and P-tech
    4.9.1 Ptech Software systems – computer control backdoor
    4.10 MITRE corporation (computer software)
    4.11 Precision guided plane?
    4.12 Rabbi Dov Zakheim and Systems Planning Corporation
    5 The US Military Knows Israel did it
    5.1 Zionism and Treason
    6 Cover Up
    6.1 9/11 Investigation in Zionist Hands
    6.2 All appointed chief judges were Zionist Jews:
    6.3 9/11 Commission: Zionist controlled
    6.4 Crime Scene Evidence Quickly Removed and Destroyed
    7 Zionist 9/11 Personalities
    7.1 Zionist Jews in all the Right Positions!
    8 Who was on board flight 11?
    9 Bush Speech Writers Grossly Inflate Number of Israeli Casualties
    9.1 Who was Bush’s Speechwriter?
    10 Mohammed Atta Leads Us Directly To Jewish Crime Network Doorstep
    11 Al Qaida = Mossad Playing Dress Up
    12 Netanyahu Openly Gleeful of 9/11 Terror Attacks
    13 Likely Architect of 9/11
    14 Connected Events Lead to Israel
    14.1 Zionist would-be terrorist incident at the Mexican Congress Building
    15 Quotes From Prominent People
    15.1 Former Italian President agrees, says Mossad did 9/11
    15.2 Former Pakistani ISI Director Says it was Mossad
    16 Related Documents
    17 See Also
    18 References

    4.2 Israeli espionage around 9/11

    Shortly before 9/11, over 140 Israelis had been arrested for suspected espionage. Some of them were posing as Art students. These suspects targeted or penetrated Military bases, DEA, FBI, Secret Service, ATF, U.S. Customs, IRS, INS, EPA, Interior Dept., U.S. Marshal’s Service, various US Attorneys Offices, Secret government offices Unlisted private homes of law enforcement/intelligence officers. Most of the suspects served in military intelligence, electronic surveillance intercept and or explosive ordinance units.

    Dozens of Israelis were arrested in American malls kiosks selling toys, acting as a front for a spying operation.

    60 detained suspects worked for the Israeli company AMDOCS which provides most directory assistance calls and most call records and billings services for the U.S. by virtue of its contracts with the 25 largest telephone companies in the U.S.

    All alleged 9/11 hijackers had fake IDs. During a joint FBI-CIA operation against the alleged lead hijacker Mohammad Atta in Fort Lee, NJ in 2001, the operation was photographed by Israeli agents and thereby compromised. These Jews were arguably providing cover for the future patsy hijacker teams.

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