Book Review: Secret Wars

The Secret War Against the Jews by John Loftus and Mark Aarons
New York, St. Martin's Press>

Dennis Eisenberg - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - September 12, 1994

Jews born outside Israel are often accused of being supersensitive when they complain about anti-Semitism. The Secret War Against the Jews makes it clear that none of us need ever again feel we are paranoid on this score.

The authors - John Loftus, a former lawyer with the US Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, and Mark Aarons, an Australian newspaperman - make a powerful, well-documented case that anti-Semitism is as mightily entrenched in he Western world today as in the past 19 centuries.

Even more startling is the claim, backed by interviews with hundreds of veteran intelligence officers, privy to the highest state secrets, that leading American and British government officials conspired to prevent the birth of a Jewish state, and even after its creation strove ceaselessly to destroy it.

A sensational claim? On the surface, yes; yet the accusations made by this massive volume are substantiated by painstakingly assembled documentation and source material.

The authors state bluntly: "The world's major powers have repeatedly planned covert operations to bring about the partial or total destruction if Israel. The savage extent of the secret wars against the Jews will horrify the Western public."

Whether that public will rise up to protest at the raw deal being meted out to the Jews is a moot point.

One of the book's more startling revelations is that president Sadat agreed to sit down with prime minister Begin after the Yom Kippur war not only because of Jimmy Carter's offer of a massive injection of billions of dollars into Egypt's bankrupt treasury. Sadat wanted more than money. So vital was it for the US president to achieve an international success that he signed a secret addendum (demanded by Sadat) to the Camp David accords.

This stab-in-the-back for Begin was a promise to supply Egypt with all Israeli military secrets. A former officer of US intelligence told the authors: "We gave Sadat everything needed for an Egyptian first strike. Satellite photos, Israel codes intercepts, the location of Israel's nuclear force and missile sites.

"When Begin discovered how we had bribed Sadat, he told everyone to keep their mouths shut. 'America was the only ally Israel had left,' was his explanation. This was no isolated incident of betrayal. Both Egypt and Saudi Arabia continued to get information about Israel's military secrets until 1994. The Saudis passed on the information to other Arab states as well as the PLO" * (see J4JP note below)

Yet Carter at the outset of his presidency was sympathetic to Israel. He was, however, naive and manipulated by CIA bosses who disliked the Zionist state. The CIA was dictated to by oil-industry agents who infiltrated the organization. Their agenda was to appease oil-rich Arab countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia to ensure their companies'' future profits.

The writer of this review can confirm the book's evaluation of the hostility and anti-Semitism in the CIA towards Israel. William Casey, who headed the CIA at one stage, recruited Israelis to betray their country. At least four such men were caught red-handed betraying the Jewish homeland.

Only recently the CIA sent out a release to American newspapers smearing Jonathan Pollard as being a "continuing intelligence risk," even though he has been isolated in American jails for close to 10 years. The apparent reason for this malicious commentary was that Rabin was visiting Washington and it was feared that he intended to appeal to Clinton to pardon Pollard.

The CIA was not alone in its secret war against the Jews. During the 1970s, British mercenaries supplied the PLO with weapons to pave the way for British agents to successfully infiltrate terrorist ranks. In order not to jeopardize their agents, MI5 warned neither Israel nor the US of impending attacks by PLO killer-squads. Even worse, together with American ex-military men, they trained terrorists for their deadly missions.

The British, despite an agreement to share information with Israel, frequently double-crossed the Mossad. One example cites how British security knew from their own agents - who had penetrated every known Arab terrorist group - of an impending attack by Black September to blow up either a Pan Am or El Al plane in Rome in 1973.

The British "forgot" to mention the matter to Israel. Nor did they say anything to either their American allies or the Italians. Why? They did not want to risk their warm relationship with the terrorists. It mattered little to them that a Pan Am plane was blown up in Rome.

In harness with British intelligence, the CIA was the driving force in setting up he notorious BCCI bank in Grand Cayman in 1976 as a cover for their spying operations. This enabled them to keep a close watch over every financial deal done by Arafat and other terrorist leaders, including Abu Nidal. Naturally no Jew was allowed to bank with BCCI, nicknamed the "Bank for Crooks and Criminals."

To show their gratitude to the Arabs for their cooperation, both British and American secret services virtually cut off all intelligence sharing with the Mossad.

So trusted were the British by the PLO that they persuaded Arafat and others running terrorist organizations to transfer their funds to the bank's branch in London "for safety." The $10 million protection money paid annually to the PLO, for instance by Sheikh Zayed of the United Arab Emirates, as well as far larger sums paid to the PLO until the Gulf War by Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing states, were channeled through this bank.

Despite this relationship, terrorist groups did at times attack British and American targets. The two countries evolved a mutual arrangement to counter terror. George bush, according to the author (citing former CIA and MI5 agents), agreed that "Jews must not be allowed to participate in the cozy Anglo-Saxon deal."

By 1980, Monzer Al Kassar, one of three brothers who ran clandestine money, drugs and arms operations for Syrian President Hafez Assad and his brother Rifaat, was masterminding the fast-growing BCCI operations.

Kassar became the world's leading drug dealer with an empire stretching from South America to the Middle East, thanks basically to supplying every terrorist organization in the Middle East with limitless, sophisticated weapons. Weapons in the main to kill Jews.

Unknown to either London or Washington, however, Kassar was the ultimate "treble" agent. He also worked for the KGB, to whom he fed vital Western military and economic information.

Just how far Monzer's influence extended was demonstrated after the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in the Mediterranean, when Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair-bound American Jew, was murdered and thrown overboard. Monzer came to the rescue by smuggling the killers to safety after their arrest in Italy.

The never officially admitted back-channel relationship between Washington and London blossomed under Bush's administration when it was decided by the secret service bosses of both countries to secure the freedom of American agents held by Arab terrorists in Lebanon.

The plan involved using American money to buy arms from the PLO. The Americans were then to supply the weapons to Iran, which would in return order its Hizbullah chiefs in the Bekaa Valley to release their captives.

The PLO readily agreed. But because of bungling, an entire shipload of Arafat's weapons was seized in Greece in 1984. To hide their own participation, the CIA reverted to the traditional technique perfected by the czars of Russia of making the Jews their scapegoats. But there was a modern refinement. Instead of "Jews," the Israelis were dragged into the affair as the "fall guys" for the Iran-Contra scandal, as the deal became known. The justification? To protect the most secret White House operation of modern times. It was, as the CIA knew, hanging like a sword over George Bush's head.

THE AUTHORS detail earlier events demonstrating how Allen and John Foster Dulles encouraged American investors to finance Hitler's Germany in the 1930s. Even at the war's end, when the horrors of the Holocaust were revealed, the two men, serving respectively as President Eisenhower's CIA chief and secretary of state, obstructed the hunt for Nazi criminals on the run. They recruited some of them into the OSS after sponsoring their immigration to the US.

Because of oil interest in the Middle East, the two men pursued policies hostile to Israel and favorable to its Arab enemies. They betrayed British French and Israeli secrets to the Arab countries during the 1956 Suez crisis.

The couple had their counterparts in Britain. One was the anti-Semitic Anthony Eden, a cabinet minister in Churchill's government who became prime minister in 1955. He opposed suggestions during the war that the Allies should try to prevent the extermination of the Jews. (Churchill gave orders that the railway lines carrying Jews to Auschwitz be bombed. Eden was one of the men who made sure that those orders were never carried out.)

In the 1950s, just as Dulles was refusing to sell US arms to the Jews, Eden was doing the same in Britain - a policy pursued by the British Foreign Office for the next 40 years.

It was during this period that the British, fearful that Egypt's President Nasser planned to seize the vital Suez Canal through which oil was brought to Europe, made a deal with France and Israel to attack Egypt in order to topple Nasser. But even as they were shaking hands with Israel over the deal, both the Americans and the British were passing on Israeli military secrets to Cairo.

Perhaps the most disturbing charges made in the book concern an agreement by the UK and the US to carry out illegal wire-tapping of Jewish "subversives" on both sides of the Atlantic. The list included names of Jewish donors to Israel. The net was cast wider in later years and exists to this day. The FBI even collected lists of youngsters going to Jewish summer camps.

Write the authors: "For the past 50 years virtually every Jewish citizen, organization and charity has been the victim of electronic surveillance by Great Britain with the willing assistance of the intelligence services of the United States."

This is how it is done: The British "borrow" US computers and electronic surveillance equipment to wire-tap prominent Israeli and Jewish American politicians, Jewish groups and supporters of Israel. In return American secret servicemen bug Jewish citizens in Britain without warrants. The two sides then swap information. Even Congress is unaware that British intelligence officers sitting at Camp Meade are quietly doing the CIA's work for them. In Britain the same procedure is carried out in reverse.

The same anti-Semitic policy applied to a special US security unit set up in 1945-6 to monitor Jews (and later Israelis). No Jew, no matter how loyal a US citizen, was permitted to work for this group; its "Jew room" is where American and British agents spy on anyone who supports Israel. In addition, the US Navy banned Jews from serving in their surveillance ships.

The reason for all this secrecy is traditional anti-Semitism. Just to what extent this was true was shown in 1967. Shortly before the Six Day War broke out, the Israeli government, trusting in the friendship of their powerful ally, informed Washington of their intention to launch a surprise attack against Egypt and Syria.

This information was promptly passed on to Cairo, Damascus and other Arab countries by the CIA. In order to curry favor with the Arab oil producers, precise details of the Israeli offensive were also passed on during the course of the fighting.

As Israeli tanks were advancing into the Sinai Desert, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan was told by his own intelligence service that the spy ship USS Liberty , which had sailed close to the southern Israel shore and near Sinai, was monitoring the battles there.

The gathered information was sent to a British listening post in Cyprus, complete with precise electronic maps of the holes in the Israeli lines. Israeli planes attacked the Liberty. It was agreed in both Washington and Jerusalem that the incident would be played down after Israel apologized and offered compensation to the families of the 37 American sailors killed during the air and sea strikes.

Happily for Israel, neither the Egyptians nor the Syrians were able to use the information forwarded to them, thanks to the speed and precision of Israel's air and land forces.

J4JP Note:

Readers should remember that this betrayal was conducted in conjunction with an undeclared intelligence embargo against Israel. So the damage, then to the Jewish state at the time was actually twofold in that she was being both blinded and compromised by her American "ally". What made this situation truly horrific was that much of the information pertaining to Israel that was being given to the Egyptians and the Saudis was eventually passed along by them to the Iraqis.

Pollard himself witnessed evidence of this retransmission.. And if he knew what was going on, certainly there were many others in the US national security establishment who were aware of it, as well. How they could just look the other way while this treachery occurred is something is difficult to comprehend. Wasn't there one high ranking intelligence community official with a conscience?