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Ugandan Affairs in the 1970s


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This will be a blockbuster the day Palestinians dominate Hollywood! :tomatoes

It is 30 years since the heroic, almost miraculous Israeli rescue operation in Entebbe. How time flies!

This week, The Guardian reported: Documents claim Israel aided Entebbe hijack:

The Israeli secret service and radical Palestinians may have engineered the hijacking of an Air France plane that flew to Entebbe in Uganda, according to a claim in newly released government documents.
The Telegraph ran a similar report: Israeli agents 'helped Entebbe hijackers'

These reports don't seem to be based on more than 30-year old hearsay. "David Colvin, the first secretary at the British embassy in Paris...heard it from a contact in the Euro-Arab Parliamentary Association... that Israeli intelligence may have had a hand in an airline hijacking before sending in commandos to rescue the hostages at Entebbe".

As far as I know the un-named source may be right - but the evidential basis for these claims does not appear very strong. Is Colvin still alive? Has anyone interviewed him about this? It would be nice to know, but as usual the mainstream press fails to undertake real follow up.

The PFLP action was interpreted by the FO as an attempt to undermine closer PLO ties with western countries, especially the USA and France.

'My contact said that the PFLP had attracted all sorts of wild elements, some of whom had been planted by the Israelis,'' Mr Colvin added. The message was received without comment by the Foreign Office but later officials recorded that a journalist from the Liverpool Post, Leo Murray, had also told them that a splinter group of PFLP was planning a series of spectacular incidents to disrupt contacts between the PLO leader Yasser Arafat and the US.

An official noted: 'If, as Mr Murray's sources allege, the aim of the Entebbe hijacking was to prevent the development of relations between Arafat and the West, and Arafat knew this, it would provide another motive for Arafat's recent approach to the French in Cairo warning us of further attacks.''

The Israeli media have now picked up the story. The Haaretz report has sparked a lively debate on its web forum.

Not surprisingly, most Israeli reaction has been to cry foul. The hand of MI6 is suspected. Those devious, dissembling Brits...

All of which is quite understandable. Which is the more devious bunch of unaccountable lying shysters: British or Israeli 'intelligence'? It's like an ancient riddle. The correct answer is probably "neither" (i.e. they are equally untrustworthy).

But what motive would the British have for falsifying these archives? Also, the story does tally with the official reaction of the British Government at the time - and other information that has come to light over the years about Israeli infiltration of various Palestinian factions.

If the story is accurate and Israel did deliberately set up the Entebbe hijack, it had a notable consequence within the Israeli elite. The elder brother of Benjamin Netanyahu was the sole Israeli commando killed in the raid.

Could this help to explain the diversity of views within the Netanyahu family on military aggression?

His uncle is the hawkish former prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. But Jonathan Ben-Artzi is a conscientious objector...

The 20-year-old physics student says that from the time he was old enough to understand about the army - which is pretty young in Israel - he has known he would never wear its uniform. But he did not really know why until he went to Verdun, where more than 700,000 men were sacrificed to futility in the first world war. "I always knew I wouldn't go into the army but I came to realise why when I was 14. We visited France and some of the battlefields and I saw the rows and rows of graves," he says. "Then I realised the stupidity of it. So many lives sacrificed and they didn't really know what they were fighting for. They were never told the truth."

Edited by Sid Walker
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Wow an at best second hand report from an anonymous source how compelling! Actually it probably is 3rd or 4th hand unless Colvin or his “source” made it up. I would presume the Arab parliamentarians would have been closer the PLO than the PFLP. My guess is that it was made up by a PLO rep who felt the kidnapping threatened his organizations ties with Europe. There only two ways someone at the meeting could have know this IF it were true

1) he was part of the PFLP high command – but in this case he would be unlikely to tell a British diplomat about it

2) he had information from an intelligence service – this isn’t always reliable because they might make up stuff for to suit their interests, but presumably if an Arab intelligence service had evidence of this it would have come out by now.

The source seems to have cited the wrong intelligence service Shin-Bet deals with domestic security like the MI5 and FBI. If the Israeli had done something like it would have been the Mossad.

My presumption that people at the meeting would be aligned to the PLO is not baseless the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation (the correct name of the organization) meet in Damascus in 1974 and demanded “The association of the PLO and its leader Arafat in any negotiations… The European members of the permanent secretariat of the Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation ( PAEAC) travelled frequently to the United States to attempt to influence America policy in favour of the PLO's claims, and against Israel. The Arabs demanded that Europe recognise Yasser Arafat as the Palestinian leader”

In it 1975 meeting in Strasbourg “the association called on European governments to recognize the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian Arabs”

www.uitkijk.net/docs/by_eurabia_122002_eng.doc

Edited by Len Colby
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Wow an at best second hand report from an anonymous source how compelling! Actually it probably is 3rd or 4th hand unless Colvin or his “source” made it up. I would presume the Arab parliamentarians would have been closer the PLO than the PFLP. My guess is that it was made up by a PLO rep who felt the kidnapping threatened his organizations ties with Europe. There only two ways someone at the meeting could have know this IF it were true

1) he was part of the PFLP high command – but in this case he would be unlikely to tell a British diplomat about it

2) he had information from an intelligence service – this isn’t always reliable because they might make up stuff for to suit their interests, but presumably if an Arab intelligence service had evidence of this it would have come out by now.

The source seems to have cited the wrong intelligence service Shin-Bet deals with domestic security like the MI5 and FBI. If the Israeli had done something like it would have been the Mossad.

My presumption that people at the meeting would be aligned to the PLO is not baseless the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation (the correct name of the organization) meet in Damascus in 1974 and demanded “The association of the PLO and its leader Arafat in any negotiations… The European members of the permanent secretariat of the Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation ( PAEAC) travelled frequently to the United States to attempt to influence America policy in favour of the PLO's claims, and against Israel. The Arabs demanded that Europe recognise Yasser Arafat as the Palestinian leader”

In it 1975 meeting in Strasbourg “the association called on European governments to recognize the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian Arabs”

www.uitkijk.net/docs/by_eurabia_122002_eng.doc

I don't disagree with you Len... there are curiosities about this story and the way it has run. I tried to indicate that in my post.

One has the sense of unfinished business... old scores to settle, perhaps? I wonder if Israeli interference in that part of the former Empire was a bridge too far for elements of typically pro-Zionist British Spookdom?

After all, HMG had offered Uganda to the Zionist movement many moons before and it had been churlishly declined, despite the best efforts of Theodore Herzl himself.

Had this generous offer of (someone else's) land been accepted, the Palestinians today might well be a peaceful, if rather obscure, people - specializing in delicious oranges, excellent olive oil and showing pilgrims of all creeds around an enchanting, rather sleepy Holy Land.

Ugandan terrorism, by contrast, would doubtless be a recognized global plague.

Despite protests from surrounding African nations, one imagines the heavily-armed Zionists making life rather miserable for the few remaining stay-at-home Ugandans, while keeping the rest of them at bay... perhaps with the aid of a concrete Security Fence?

Ever hear the improbable story about 19 black East African terrorists - 15 from Kenya - who hijacked four airliners on a sunny morning in southern England and brought down THREE steel-framed towerblocks in the City of London? Nah - I don't buy it either!

Edited by Sid Walker
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I tend to find virtual history more believable than the real thing. However, the idea of a Uganda homeland for the Jews is complicated by the fact that it was not Uganda as we know it.

The 15,500 square kilometres that Britain offered in 1903 - as a temporary place of settlement for Russian Jews who were in imminent danger - was in a part of Eastern Uganda that was in the process of being transferred to British East Africa, modern Kenya.

People apparently found the geography difficult at the time:

http://www.jewishsightseeing.com/writers_d...nism-uganda.htm

Had the settlement plan gone ahead it would have added another settler layer in western Kenya to the so-called White Highlands in central Kenya. This could well have strengthened moves to create an East African Federation (Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, Zanzibar) under settler control, which in turn could have bolstered the idea of a Central African Federation. South Africa and Portugal would have had powerful allies ... I think I'll stop there - I don't like the way this is developing.

In reality a key issue for a Jewish homeland would have been the opposition of the Kingdom of Buganda itself, 'the Japanese of East Africa'. I suspect this considereation might have played a part in the transfer of Eastern Uganda to Kenya. Incidentally, Amin later threatened at one point to declare war on Kenya and get Uganda's territory back.

A footnote I can't resist: Kakungulu, a Baganda general, was much used by the British at the time to extend their control over Uganda. He later fell out with the British, retired, converted to Judaism, and founded a Ugandan Jewish community in Eastern Uganda: http://mzansiafrika.typepad.com/mzansi_afr...h_communit.html

Edited by Norman Pratt
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