Ex-Mossad agent: “It goes without saying that there was someone on the inside providing information”

June 05, 2016

Muhammad Ali (right) made various anti-Semitic comments, yet attended his grandson’s bar mitzvah


I attach several human-interest stories.



1. Israeli censor allows Israeli pilots to discuss bombing of Saddam’s nuclear weapons program
2. Muhammad Ali made anti-Semitic comments, yet attended his grandson’s bar mitzvah
3. “Chai Am The Greatest”
4. Dr. Ruth promises good sex to those who support Israel
5. “Israel to place gorillas near Gaza; hopes int’l community will care about rocket attacks” (The Mideast Beast, June 3, 2016)



[Notes by Tom Gross]

I have written before that (in my view, at least) one of the most significant – yet internationally underappreciated – acts in recent decades was the decision by Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin to bomb Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program before Saddam gained nuclear weapons.

Begin did so despite threats and warnings against striking Saddam by almost everybody -- including then Israeli opposition leader Shimon Peres and then American President Ronald Reagan.

Given the fact Saddam freely used chemical weapons against his own people (including on thousands of Kurdish civilians) a few years later, and committed near genocide against the marsh Arabs, one can only imagine what he might have done with nuclear weapons had he acquired them, whether using them against Western nations, against the Iranians during the Iran-Iraq war, or against Israeli population centers.

The entire world condemned Prime Minister Begin for his bold act and the Reagan administration imposed sanctions on Israel.

On Friday evening, on Israel’s Channel 10, for the first time some of the Israeli pilots and others who took part in the operation were authorized to reveal some (though not all) previously unknown details of the heroic and dangerous mission that took place 35 years ago this Tuesday, on June 7, 1981.


Retired Maj. Gen. David Ivry, who commanded the Israeli Air Force at the time of the raid, told Channel 10 that Israeli intelligence had discovered the Iraqis were building a nuclear reactor in 1976.

Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency did everything they could in the years that followed to thwart Saddam’s program. For example, the reactor’s first core, which was manufactured with French help, exploded in mysterious circumstances in the southern French port of La Seyne-sur-Mer.

But by 1981, Israel had taken all the delaying tactics it could and with Iraq’s nuclear reactor about to go online, Begin realized he couldn’t delay any longer and had no choice but to resort to air strikes.

The U.S. refused to allow Israel to use its tanker planes for mid-flight refueling so Israel had to improvise. Retired Col. Ze’ev Raz, who led the raid, told Channel 10 that Israeli air force technicians “recognized that flying 2,000 miles to Iraq and back was beyond the range of our jets, so we used all sorts of tricks to extend it.”

Therefore various ingenius methods for making the fuel last longer were undertaken -- methods which the Israeli military has declined to make public until the present time. Eight Israeli pilots took part in the raid and all returned safely, even though prior intelligence estimates were that at least one or two pilots would be shot down during the mission.

Among the Israeli pilots who took part in the strike was Ilan Ramon, who later became Israel’s first astronaut and who died in the Columbia space shuttle disaster in 2003.

Ivry said that meticulous care was taken to ensure that the French nuclear technicians working for Saddam at the site were on their day off when Israel hit, and also that no civilian aircraft were nearby.


Among previous related dispatches:

* Saudis admit Israel was right to destroy Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 (April 11, 2006)

* Aircraft are not the only means at Israel’s disposal (Nov. 22, 2011)

* Syria update: “This was one of the five most important acts in Israel’s history” (Oct. 22, 2007)



Boxing’s “Greatest” world champion Muhammad Ali, who died yesterday 74, made a number of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic comments following his conversion to Islam, accusing “Zionists” of world domination, and making questionable comments about “Jewish promoters” who he claimed dominated boxing (even though they didn’t).

And on a visit to Beirut, Ali said that “the United States is the stronghold of Zionism.”

Referring to various persons convicted of terrorist acts and murder of Israeli civilians, Ali called for “the freeing of Muslim brothers imprisoned by Israel”.

In 1980, he went to India and was asked for his opinions on the Iranian hostage crisis (then gripping the world) by a reporter for “India Today.” In response, Ali denounced the “Zionists who control America and control the world” who he implied were behind it.

However, in recent years after his daughter Khaliah Ali married a Jewish man, Spencer Wertheimer, Ali attended Shabbat services with them, and in 2012 attended the bar mitzvah of his grandson Jacob Wertheimer at Philadelphia’s Rodeph Shalom synagogue.

Ali’s daughter said “My father was supportive in every way during my son’s bar mitzvah ceremony. He followed everything and looked at the Torah very closely. It meant a lot to Jacob that he was there.”



Here is a video of American comedian Billy Crystal’s classic 1977 sketch of Muhammad Ali deciding “to convert to Judaism and change his name to Izzy Yiskowitz”. (Purely in Billy Crystal’s imagination, of course.)



In an interview to mark the Israel Pride Parade in New York, the world’s most renowned sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, joked that people who support Israel would enjoy better sex.

“All of you, whoever listens to me, I promise you good sex -- especially with your significant other, with your spouse -- if you come and watch the parade,” the 4-foot-7 Westheimer said in a 2-minute video.

She added: “And as many of you know, I lived in Israel, I speak Hebrew, I was in the Haganah, I was a sharpshooter. Whoever is not going to give us support, watch out for me.”

Video here.


Among previous related dispatches:

* Dr Ruth and “Star Wars” Queen stand up for Israel (July 1, 2002)

* Dr. Ruth to lecture IDF officers (& other items) (April 4, 2006)



(Satire… or not ? – Tom Gross)

Israel to Place Gorillas Near Gaza; Hopes Int’l Community Will Care About Rocket Attacks
The Mideast Beast
June 3, 2016


Looking to raise awareness and concern over the flood of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip for the past decade, Israel has decided to place gorillas throughout the communities and neighboring towns surrounding Gaza.

“For years we’ve highlighted the deaths of innocent men, women, and children from these rockets, but people throughout Europe and on college campuses in the U.S. continued to support Hamas,” a spokesman for the Israeli government told The Mideast Beast. “After seeing the outpouring of anger over the death of Harambe the gorilla, we realized we’ve been doing it all wrong.”

Israel will now place a handful of gorillas in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Sderot and other communities in the south that have seen a high number of rocket attacks. While Hamas publically insists the move won’t change its military approach, some Hamas commanders expressed concern in private conversations.

“If one of our rockets were to kill a gorilla, we would completely alienate our core support base of 18 to 22-year-old left-wing American Facebook commenters,” one senior Hamas official told The Mideast Beast off record. “That’s not a risk we can take lightly.”

In response, Hamas has announced plans to acquire relatives of Cecil the Lion to place in Gaza neighborhoods in order to encourage Israeli airstrikes. “Using Cecil’s relatives as human shields will certainly work to help us convince the international community to ostracize Israel, as it has the dentist who killed Cecil. Plus, we’ll have more children around whose spare hands we could use to dig tunnels. So, you know, win-win!”


Among previous related dispatches:

“I will always remember where I was when Cecil The Lion was killed” (By “Mohammed,” a Syrian war refugee)


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All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.