Monday, 25 July 2011

From Lillehammer 1973 to Oslo 2011: Murders in Norway and the Israel Connection

Lillehammer, Norway--site of a 1973 Mossad operation

By Richard Edmondson

A large portion of the blogosphere seems alight at present over the possibility that the terrorist attack in Norway is connected in some way to Israel. Many are noting, for example, that Anders Behring Breivik, the man implicated in the spree of violence that killed at least 92 people, held some very outwardly-expressed pro-Israel views—while others are speculating the mayhem that shook the Scandinavian country last week may even have been a false-flag attack carried out by the Mossad, perhaps not unlike 9/11. Here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here are but a few examples of writers and bloggers exploring the Israeli element in the terror-tragedy of July 22. Additionally, at one of the sites linked above, an anonymous commenter remarks, “This is a Mossad hit. Brevik is the patsy—just like OBL was.”

So far as I know, there is no substantial evidence at this time to indicate Mossad collusion in the Oslo/Utoya rampages—at least nowhere near the voluminous body of evidence attesting Israeli involvement in 9/11. But should such documentation begin to emerge, it would not be the first Mossad operation to have occurred on Norwegian soil. In 1973, a Mossad assassination team carried out a hit in the town of Lillehammer, Norway. Their target was Ali Hassan Salameh, a Palestinian alleged to have played a leading role in the killing of Israeli athletes the year before at the Munich Olympics, but the assassins committed a major blunder. Instead of killing Salameh, they mistakenly shot dead a Morrocan named Ahmed Bouchiki as he walked home from a cinema with his pregnant wife.

Bouchiki at the time was working as a waiter in Lillehammer, a town roughly 100 km north of Oslo. He was innocent of any crime. His misfortune was bearing a physical resemblance to Salameh. Accounts of the incident can be found here, here, and here. The document at the latter link was produced as a paper for the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College in 1995:

The target (Bouchiki) and female companion exited the movie at approximately 2235 hours and took a bus to an area just a "short walk" from their flat. As they began their walk from the bus stop to the flat, two members of the action team exited a Mazda and began firing into the man believed to be Salameh with Baretta .22 caliber pistols. The pregnant woman crouched over the dying man, screaming as the team escaped from the scene. Individuals in the neighborhood notified the police, who arrived at the scene within the next few minutes. The team dropped the Mazda at a predesignated point and transferred to a Peugeot rented from a Scandinavian rental company to transport them out of Lillehammer.

Two members of the assassination team, a man and a woman, were arrested the next day when they re-commissioned a getaway car to carry them to the airport. Their interrogation by Norwegian authorities resulted in additional arrests, with a total of six Israelis being taken into custody altogether.

During the police interrogation, Gladnikoff provided the police a safe house address as her residence. She also broke down and reported that she was working for the Government of Israel. Arbel had an unlisted phone number in his possession which lead the police to Yigal Zigal, originally believed to be an employee of El Al Airlines. Following Gladnikoff's lead, the police responded to the safe house address and discovered Yigal Zigal, Zwi Steinberg and Michael Dorf. Zigal claimed to be an Israeli Security Officer assigned to the Israeli embassy. He offered the police official Israeli credentials at the time of his arrest, ordered the police to leave the apartment, and attempted to claim diplomatic immunity. The police disregarded the credentials and took Zigal, Dorf, and Steinberg into custody.

A public trial resulted in five convictions—Dan Arbel, Marrianne Gladnikoff, Yigal Zigal, Abraham Gehmer, and Zwi Steinberg—and one acquittal, Michael Dorf. However, as so often seems the case with Israelis who commit crimes in foreign countries, all were soon released and returned to Israel. Arbel, who maintained dual Danish-Israeli citizenship, is believed today to be living in Herzliya.

The murder/assassination of Bouchiki took place on July 21, 1973—exactly 38 years and one day before last week’s attacks in Oslo and Utoya. Another very strange confluence of dates has been pointed out by Eileen Fleming, who observes that the atrocity of last Friday occurred “65 years to the very day” after the blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem…on July 22, 1946. That attack was perpetrated by the Jewish terror group Irgun and came two years prior to the assassination of a Swedish diplomat, Folke Bernadotte, by another Jewish terror organization, the Stern Gang.

A number of other interesting “coincidences” seem to part of the picture as well. On Monday, July 18, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas visited Oslo, at which time it was announced by Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store that Norway stands ready to recognize a Palestinian state. Then on Thursday, 24 hours before the terrorist attack, Store paid a visit to the youth camp at Utoya Island, the very site of the massacre that was to begin the next day. The official was met by a spirited group of politically conscious young people who called for the boycott of Israel.

“The Palestinians must have their own state, the occupation must end, the wall must be demolished and it must happen now,” Store is reported to have told the cheering audience.

Furthermore, the rabid right in Israel seems to have been cognizant of the political attitudes in the Scandinavian country. This from Gilad Atzmon:

Devastatingly enough, in Israel, Behring Breivik found a few enthusiastic followers who praised his action against the Norwegian youth. In the  Hebrew article that reported about the AUF camp being pro Palestinian and supportive of the Israel Boycott Campaign, I found the following comments amongst other supports for the massacre:

24. “Oslo criminals paid”

26. “It's stupidity and evil not to desire death for those who call to boycott Israel.’

41. “Hitler Youth members killed in the bombing of Germany were also innocent. Let us all cry about the terrible evil bombardment carried out by the Allied…We have a bunch of haters of Israel meeting in a country that hates Israel in a conference that endorses the  boycott.. So it's not okay, not nice, really a tragedy for families, and we condemn the act itself, but to cry about it? Come on. We Jews are not Christians. In the Jewish religion there is no obligation to love or mourn for the enemy.”

It would seem, then, the Old Testament predilection for wrath and vengeance is very much alive today in Israel—as it was also in 1973. The Mossad operation that resulted in Bouchiki’s death was called Operation Wrath of God.

And finally also on the subject of Israeli animosity towards Norway, it would additionally appear that an Israeli writer by the name of Itamar Eichner has penned an article entitled Israel: Norway inciting against us. The piece mentions Norwegian support for two artistic endeavors—a play entitled “Gaza Monologues” and a film documentary entitled “Tears for Gaza”—as well as a book recently published by two Norwegian doctors who were in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead:

The Israeli Embassy in Norway strongly protested the authorities’ involvement in Israel’s demonization. “The open and official Norwegian policy talks about understanding and reconciliation,” a senior Israeli official said Sunday evening, “but ever since the war in Gaza, Norway has become a superpower in terms of exporting multimedia aimed at de-legitimizing Israel, while using the Norwegian taxpayer funds for creating and transporting this multimedia.”

Of course, none of this seems to be getting much mention in the mainstream media. While almost all news outlets have identified Breivik as a “right-wing fundamentalist Christian,” or words to that effect, most have omitted any mention of his strongly pro-Israel views.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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