By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
On October 7, the American magazine Vanity Fair was awarded by the Tel Aviv regime with the exclusive right to a story about the Israeli special police force YAMAM. Today it one of the most sinister anti-terrorist units in the world because its repressive tactics have given it an unarguable prestige.
Under the signature of Adam Ciralsky, the publication included on October 7 a report entitled “From inside the most secret antiterrorist operation…”. The author relates his arrival at a fortified complex in the Ayalon Valley, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv where YAMAM is headquartered.
That’s where a gang of anti-terrorist operatives, whose work for four decades has been shrouded in impenetrable secrecy. The journalist crossed through a uniformed Israeli border police combat post and entered an explosion-proof shed where his credentials were scanned, his electronic devices locked up, and a counterintelligence officer gave them a warning sermon.
“Don’t reveal our location,” “don’t remember our faces,” “forget our names,” and “try to forget everything you see,” were the basic instructions.
YAMAM is part of Israel’s national police. It is not subordinate to the Israeli army or Mossad (Israel’s CIA) or Shin Bet (Israel’s FBI). Its situation in Israel’s organization chart is more like Britain’s M.I.5, although recently the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has blurred some of the dividing lines between the tasks of these agencies. YAMAM’s main task, according to the hosts, is to thwart terrorist plans, engage with opposing militants during attacks, combat so-called crime syndicates and prevent border incursions
YAMAM is considered the most qualified agency of its kind in the West to confront a war of espionage. The organization has devised new methodologies to respond to terrorist incidents and mass shootings, which, until now, it only shared with a few of its politically-related counterparts around the world.
At a time when veterans of the so-called Islamic State or ISIS are attacking Western targets outside their strongholds in the Middle East, their expertise is in high demand. Increasingly, the world’s top intelligence and police chiefs are turning to YAMAM (the Hebrew acronym for “special police unit”).
Yet Israel, which, as an occupying power, faces international condemnation for its unequal war against the Palestinians, boasts that some senior government officials who are very critical of Israel on the world stage have begun to ask them for help with their most intractable security problems.
And now the Israeli regime has evidently felt that the time has come to share its experiences with other countries, for its own benefit of course.
The main objective assigned to YAMAM is to thwart terrorist plans against the government before they occur, to involve the military during attacks, to combat “crime syndicates” and to prevent border incursions. In contrast, the military forces are often called upon to confront protest demonstrations in the West Bank, using what human rights activists call exaggerated force.
But protests along the fence separating Israel from Gaza, said to be organized by Hamas, are met only by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) outside YAMAM. It is these IDF forces that are generally accused of killing unarmed Palestinians, according to Ciralsky,
When Hamas sends rockets or balloons carrying weapons to Israel, or when it launches rockets, it is the IDF that responds with devastating air strikes. Occasionally, members of YAMAM participate in these attacks, although to a large extent they play a secondary role.
For a year, the author and his team traveled to train and exchange tactics with their U.S., French and German counterparts in areas such as the retaking of passenger trains, frustrating suicide attacks, and disarming men armed with grenades or bombs.
YAMAM’s technology includes robots and drones, and dazzles the uninitiated. But so do the statistics: YAMAM performs an average of about 300 missions a year in which its commandos have prevented the explosion of no less than 50 “time bombs” carried by suicide bombers en route to their targets and hundreds of other attacks in early stages.
YAMAM is a lamentable manifestation of the most modern technology designed as part of the Israeli genocide against Palestine, a nation whose people legitimately aspire to their sovereign space.
October 25, 2018.
This article may be reproduced by quoting the periodical POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
By Marylín Luis Grillo
Posted: Monday 20 August 2018 | 09:11:00 PM
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
This August 20, the Palestinian cause has lost one of its greatest defenders. Uri Avnery – a journalist, intellectual, former member of parliament, a man of the left and of peace – died at the age of 94, ten days after suffering a stroke, in a hospital in Tel Aviv.
As a Jew in Nazi Germany, he had to flee in 1933 to Palestine, then a British colony. He saw Israel born, and, at the dawn of a mad youth, he was a Zionist guerrilla against the Arabs and fought with the Israeli army. However, his whole subsequent life was spent trying to create a stable territory in the Middle East and he strongly advocated the two-state solution within his own country.
“There were less than a hundred of us in the world who defended this idea in 1949,” he said in 2011, referring to the proposal to create a Palestinian state that would coexist with Israel, “but today the whole world supports it, as do the majority of Israelis.
“No fear, no prejudice.” With this slogan and from the strength of journalism, Avnery broke the taboos of Israeli society with his weekly Haolam Haze (This World), in which he defended peaceful coexistence with Palestinians and Arabs.
For his country’s own government, its lyrics were “public enemy number one”, as the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, put it. The newsroom suffered several attacks with firebombs and explosives, and was the victim of censorship and personal attacks.
In 1965 he established the left-wing political movement Haolam Hazeh-Koah Hadash, known as Meri, with whom he became a member of the Knesset (Parliament) from 1969, and in 1979 he regained a seat as a founding member of the left-wing Sheli party.
His political activities defended religious freedom in the Jewish state, civil marriage, appealed for the denuclearization of the Middle East and the rights of homosexuals, who were then forced to conceal their identity. He advocated a formal constitution.
Then, with the Oslo Peace Accords, he created Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc) in 1993, which distinguished itself from other Israeli peace movements by demanding the return of Palestinians expelled during the creation of Israel in 1948.
As a politician and journalist he was a person who took risks. Therefore, in these days when many remember him, Uri Avnery will be particularly remembered for his interview with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, in 1982, in Lebanon, during the Israeli siege of Beirut.
Avnery went through his own ranks to talk to Arafat for about two hours. They would meet on other occasions. It would be a clear sign that peace knows no ethnicity, religion or nationality. Avnery would defend him (Arafat) as a companion, it would even be willing to give his life for him, in 2003, when he did not hesitate to serve him together with another compatriot as a human shield in the face of the imminent danger of an attack on the Palestinian leader.
His struggle, that of the man of letters and strength, was the struggle of a discontent with injustice and, above all, of a convinced “optimist”, the title he would give to his autobiography. He published a dozen books and received many international awards. He was also beaten up by his own country, which he criticised with the conviction of believing in “the capacity of these people to change course”.
He laid the foundations for critical journalism in Israel, for political dissent, the Tel Aviv press has had to acknowledge. “Ideological rivalries are disappearing in the face of their will to build a free and strong society,” said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin of the conservative Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List party in Israel, honored the memory of “a man who dedicated his life to peace and the creation of a Palestinian state”.
His death occurs in dark moments of heavy repression in Gaza and the West Bank, of apartheid and extermination. It may seem like goodbye, but Uri Avnery was an eternal optimist and his struggle continues on both sides of the wall.