In 1961, Israel's renowned Mossad painstakingly planned, practiced and perpetrated the violation of another country's sovereignty in an operation that would have momentous and far-reaching implications for the Jewish people worldwide.
The mission? To infiltrate up to 30 secret service agents into Argentina, and use them to kidnap and smuggle to Israel for trial the grand architect of Hitler's Final Solution for the total destruction of European Jewry: SS Lieutenant-Colonel Adolf Eichmann.
Today, calls are going out for PLO leader Yasser Arafat to be dealt with in exactly the same way.
Except, of course, that he is already in Israeli hands and defacto in Israeli custody, as he sits imprisoned in the ruins of his Mukata Compound just a few kilometers north of the Jewish capital.
Worst killers of JewsIn terms of the sheer numbers murdered, Eichmann and Hitler were the most terrible killers of Jews in history. But even as Europe was being liberated from those monsters, a young Arab living in Cairo was embarking on a course that would earn him, by 2003, the distinction of being the worst slayer of Jews since the Fuhrer put a bullet in his own brain.
'I didn't know the sort of man Eichmann was'Issar Harel was running the Mossad when, in 1957, he was alerted to Eichmann's whereabouts and set about learning as much as he could about the man.
"I didn't know what sort of man Eichmann was [when I sat down to read]," Harel wrote afterwards.
"I didn't know with what morbid zeal he pursued his murderous work or how he went into the fray to destroy one miserable Jew with the same ardor he devoted to the annihilation of an entire community. I didn't know that he was capable of ordering the slaughter of babies - and depicting himself as a disciplined soldier; of directing outrages on women - and priding himself on his loyalty to an oath; or of sending helpless old men to their deaths - and classifying himself as an 'idealist'..."
Without any modification, the same things can be said today about Arafat, who has devoted his entire adult life to annihilating Jewish individuals and the Jewish state, who has ordered and praised the slaughter of Jewish babies while accepting the acclaim of his people as their great military leader; who has given the green light for the perpetration of the most heinous acts of murder of women, children and men; and who has encouraged little Palestinian children to go to their deaths armed with stones and bombs, while priding himself as the leader of the great jihad against the Zionists.
Their blood cries out from the groundHarel said that it was the victims of Eichmann's slaughter, together with justice and morality, which demanded he be brought to trial and punished.
Today, as we see the long, seemingly endless list of names of grandparents, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandchildren, school friends, neighbors, whose lives have been snuffed out, leaving gaping wounds in families and communities in every town and city in this land, we hear the victims of Arafat's slaughter crying out for this evil man too to be brought to trial and punished.
Considering the depth of his hatred, the perversity of his methods, the gleeful and triumphal shouts with which he has driven his terrorist gangs along their bloody way - considering this, justice and morality surely demand the same fate for Arafat.
Let Arafat's victims bring him inWith Prime Minister David Ben Gurion's blessing, Harel handpicked from among his agents a special team, comprised of volunteers who had seen Nazi brutality first hand, and survived. Almost all those selected had witnessed the murders of most, in some cases all, of their families.
Eichmann was successfully spirited away to stand public trial and be sentenced to death in Jerusalem - the restored capital of the ancient nation he had sought to annihilate forever.
Arafat's long and murderous arm has violated homes and families across Israel. There are many sons and fathers of his victims today serving in Israel's military and intelligence communities.
Let volunteers be called for from among their ranks to bring Arafat to prison, and from there to the Supreme Court in Jerusalem.
Let Arafat, too, be tried in the capital of the nation state he has sworn to destroy. Let him be tried in the courts of the city his murderous campaign has sought to make the capital of his own blood-soaked Palestinian state.
Riveting, pain-filled testimoniesDuring Eichmann's trial, numerous, often emotionally distraught, witnesses described his crimes in chilling and heartrending detail that was broadcast live on radio and television across Israel and in many other countries. For months, the pain-filled testimonies riveted Jews and others around the world.
The trial and sentencing, broadcast live, and the subsequent hanging of Eichmann on May 31, 1962, has been described as having a deeply cathartic effect on the Jewish people. In many ways it helped to close the door on some of the more excruciating memories carried by so many who had survived the Nazi killing machine and who lived to see its chief architect admit to and finally pay for his horrendous crimes.
The benefits to the Jewish people of a similar public trial of Arafat would be enormous. Nor would Israel's State Prosecutor have to go far at all find thousands of heartbreaking testimonies from those directly affected by the nearly 1000 murders of Jews since September 2000 alone.
A brief glance through the records identifies untold numbers of witnesses. I urge the reader to not skip their names or the details of their tragedies. These are not mere statistics in a war:
The list seems endless. For all the names and details of those whose lives have been taken in the last three years by the Arabs Arafat represents, follow the link to http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0iky0.
- Hani Avrahami, and her three children. Avrahami called her husband Yossi's cell phone on October 12, 2000 to be gleefully told by the Arab who had taken it from him: "At this time we are killing your husband." Arafat's people physically ripped Yossi's body apart after he was bludgeoned to death in a PA police station.
- Geula Hershokowitz, whose husband Arye was shot dead in one terrorist shooting attack while driving to work on January 29, 2001, and whose eldest son, Assaf, was killed in another terrorist shooting attack on May 1, just over three months later.
- The parents, sister and brother of 18-year-old Yasmin Karisi, who was one of eight young Israelis crushed to death when a Palestinian terrorist deliberately ploughed the bus he was driving into a crowded bus stop on February 14, 2001.
- Seth and Sheri Mandell, whose 14-year-old son Kobi - together with his friend Yossi Ish-Ran - was so brutally stoned to death in a Judean cave by Palestinians on May 9, 2001, that his body was unrecognizable.
- Yitzhak and Oriya Pass, whose 10-month-old daughter Shalhevet was deliberately shot dead by a Palestinian sniper on March 26, 2001.
- The mother and the twin brother of Liana Sakiyan (16), who along with 20 other young Israelis - 16 of them teenagers) was killed by a 'suicide' bomber in an attack on Tel Aviv's Dolphinarium seafront disco on June 1, 2001.
- Arnold and Frimet Roth, whose oldest daughter, Malka (15) together with 14 other people was killed by a 'suicide' bomber while enjoying lunch in Jerusalem's Sbarro Pizzeria on August 9, 2001.
- Eight-year-old Haya Schijveschuurder who, along with her 10-year-old sister Leah, and their brothers Ben-Zion, 21, Meir, 20 and Shmuel, 16, lost their father Mordechai and mother Tzirli, their sisters Raya (14) and Hemda(2), and their brother Avraham Yitzhak (3) in the Sbarro attack.
- Holocaust survivor Naomi Friedman, Tzirli Schijveschuurder's mother, who after burying her daughter, her son-in-law, two granddaughters and a grandson said: "I thought I'd left hell behind [when she escaped the death camps], but I didn't."
- The sisters, Anna and Rosa Bakshayev, whose husbands, Edward and Anatoly, were among six people killed by one of Arafat's terrorists while attending a bat mitzvah celebration for Edward's step-granddaughter in Hadera on January 17, 2002.
- Haviv Ohana and his sons Oded and Yonatan, whose wife and mother Miri, and disabled 11-year-old daughter and sister Yael were murdered by one of Arafat's terrorists on Moshav Hamra on February 6, 2002.
- Hanah Nehmad, whose son-in-law, Shlomo, daughter, Gafnit, and their three children, Shaul (15), Shiraz (7), Liran (3) were killed by a 'suicide' bomber in downtown Jerusalem on March 2, 2002.
- Shimon Ilan, Shlomo Nehmad's brother, who also lost his son Lidor (12) and daughter Oriah (18mnths) in the March 2 'suicide' bombing in Jerusalem.
- Ofir Eliyahu and his daughter Shira (2) who lost wife and mother Tzofiya and her seven-month-old baby, Yakov, in the same attack.
- Tuvia Livne and his four children, whose wife and mother Lynne and daughter and sister Atara (15) were among six Israelis killed by Palestinians as they drove near Israel's northern border with Lebanon on May 12, 2002.
- Seven-year-old Shoval and three-year-old Shachar Shemesh, whose father, Gad, and mother, Tzipi, together with her unborn child, were killed by a 'suicide' bomber in central Jerusalem on March 21, 2002.
- The two daughters of Michael and Dvora Karim, an elderly couple among 30 people killed by a 'suicide' bomber who blew himself up during a Passover Seder meal in Netanya on March 27, 2002.
- The friends of Holocaust survivor couple Ernest and Eva Weiss who were killed in the Netanya Passover attack.
- Na'ama Gavish and her daughter Darya, whose husband and father Avraham, together with his parents David and Rachel and his grandfather Yitzhak Kanner were shot dead by a Palestinian terrorist in their Elon Moreh home on March 28, 2002.
- Rachel Koren, who buried her husband Shimon and her two sons, Gal (15) and Ran (18), after a 'suicide' bomber in Haifa killed them on March 31, 2002.
The judgmentIn sentencing Eichmann to die, Presiding Judge Moshe Landau said, "the objective of the crimes against the Jewish People of which the accused was found guilty was to obliterate an entire people from the face of the earth." As such, they "differ from criminal acts perpetrated against persons as individuals."
However, the judge went on to say, that, "at the stage of passing sentence consideration must also, and perhaps primarily, be given to the injury inflicted on the victims as individuals, which was implicit in these crimes, and the immeasurable anguish which they and their families suffered and still suffer to this very day because of these crimes."
"For the dispatch of each train by the accused to Auschwitz, or to any other extermination site, carrying one thousand human beings, meant that the accused was a direct accomplice in a thousand premeditated acts of murder, and the degree of his legal and moral responsibility for these acts of murder is not one iota less than the responsibility of the person who with his own hands pushed these human beings into the gas chambers..."
Surely the same is true concerning Arafat's victims who, while he sees all Jews everywhere as simply "vermin" to be exterminated, and is thus guilty of waging a campaign of genocide against the Jewish people, is also as responsible for the deaths of all these individuals, and the excruciating pain caused their loved ones, as were the gunmen and 'suicide' bombers who, pledging allegiance to their leader, pulled the triggers and detonated the explosives that physically took all those lives.
Plausible deniabilityExcept for when he cannot control his own bloodlust and sings the praises of the "martyrs" who leave places like Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market strewn with Jewish bodies, Arafat has successfully created the appearance of distance between himself and the other Palestinian terror groups.
He learned this tactic from former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, according to Ion Mihai Pacepa, former head of Romanian intelligence, who quotes Ceausescu as telling Arafat back in 1978, "...you can keep as many operational groups as you want, as long as they are not publicly connected with your name. They could mount endless operations all around the world, while your name and your 'government' would remain pristine and unspoiled, ready for negotiations and further recognition."
While Arafat learned that lesson well and put it into practice, he has been unmasked by Israel's intelligence services and is known to work in close conjunction with Hamas and other terror organizations.
Writes intelligence analyst Christopher Story: "Hamas (and its subdivisions) is and always has been an integral component of the umbrella organization known as the Palestine Liberation Organization…" A former Hamas leader, Sheikh Mahmoud Zahar, has described the PLO-Hamas relationship as being "like the wings of a bird," that work together."
Just two weeks ago, before 21 Israelis, among them many little children, were bombed to death on a Jerusalem bus by a Hamas member, Israeli intelligence warned that Arafat had given the terror group the green light to perpetrate attacks.
Whether for the 1972 killing of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games by a Palestinian group calling itself 'Black September,' or for the same group's 1973 murder in Khartoum of US Ambassador Cleo A. Noel, for which Arafat personally took the credit; whether for the 1974 shooting to death of 21 Israeli schoolchildren in Ma'alot by the DFLP, the 1975 Tel Aviv Savoy Hotel attack in which eight hostages were murdered, the 1978 Coastal Road bus hijacking by Arafat's Fatah group in which 35 people were massacred, or all the bombings which followed the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1991 - Yasser Arafat is directly responsible for them all.
Sentence him to death"This Court sentences Adolf Eichmann to death, for the crimes against the Jewish People, the crimes against humanity and the war crimes of which he has been found guilty..."
There is no doubt that Yasser Arafat should likewise be made to pay the full price for the terrible crimes he is guilty of committing against the Jewish people.
And we have not even touched here upon his debt to all those thousands of other, non-Jewish victims of Arab terror who, like the Maronite Christians in Lebanon, and hundreds of Palestinian and other Arabs were killed by Arafat's own people, or who died at the hands of the many terror groups who took their lessons from the arch terrorist of all time.
Commander of the mission - Rafi EitanWe are not lone voices calling for Arafat's detention, trial and hanging.
Speaking on Israel Radio on August 25, a little over four decades after Eichmann went to his death, Rafi Eitan called for Arafat to be dealt with in the same way.
Eitan was the man selected to command the Eichmann operation. Along with two others, he physically grabbed and forced the Nazi killer into the car that abducted him.
According to Eitan, who was the Mossad's director of operations for 25 years, "Arafat is a war criminal. We should take him to court and try him for war crimes. He has brought great misery and destruction on the Palestinians and on us. He is a murderer.
"Bring him to Jerusalem, like Eichmann."
Today, Sunday, the leader of the national Religious Party, Effi Eitam, echoed this call:
"Israel should arrest Arafat, try him for war crimes, mass murder and sentence him to death."
It is a call that should find echo across the Land of Israel and, indeed, throughout the civilized world.For the full, gripping account of the Eichmann kidnapping, see Harel's book, The House on Garibaldi Street (Viking Press; June 1975)
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