Israeli researchers: Notes from USSR archivist who defected indicate PA president was working for Soviets in Damascus in 1980s while Putin’s current Mideast envoy was stationed there
Mahmoud Abbas in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 31, 1975, during a meeting to discuss the opening of a Palestine Liberation Organization office on the island. (AP Photo)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was a Soviet spy in Damascus in the 1980s, Israel’s Channel 1 television reported Wednesday, citing information it said was included in an archive smuggled out of the USSR.
According to Channel 1’s foreign news editor Oren Nahari, the famed Mitrokhin archive, kept by KGB defector Vasily Mitrokhin, revealed that Abbas was a Soviet mole in Damascus in 1983.
The documents — obtained by Israeli researchers Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez — purportedly show that Abbas, code-named Krotov (mole), was involved with the Soviets while Mikhail Bogdanov, today Vladimir Putin’s envoy to the Middle East. was stationed in Damascus.
Bogdanov was caught in a diplomatic tussle earlier this week after trying to broker a summit between Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow, who both claimed a willingness to meet while decrying the other for allegedly refusing.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmud Abbas during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on April 13, 2015. (Photo credit: AFP/ POOL / SERGEI ILNITSKY)
Mitrokhin was a senior KGB archivist who defected to the UK in 1992, and his edited notes on various KGB operations were released in 2014. His handwritten notes remain classified by MI5.
The archivist’s notes on the KGB are considered among the most complete information available on Soviet intelligence operations. He claimed that the KGB recruited the then head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Wadi Haddad, as an agent in the 1970s.
His writings also revealed that Haddad, operating under the code name NATSIONALIST, was given Soviet assistance in funding and arming the PFLP.
According to an Eastern Soviet bloc intelligence agent who defected to the US in the 1970s, the PLO, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the PFLP all received help from the KGB.
Romanian Lt. General Pacepa told US officials that in 1972 that then-PLO leader Yasser Arafat closely collaborated with the KGB and the Romanian Securitate service, and PLO guerrilla fighters were secretly trained by Soviet intelligence agents.
In response to the Channel 1 report, Fatah official Nabil Shaath denied that Abbas was ever a KGB operative, calling the claim a “smear campaign” that attempted to distract from potentially Russian-led peace talks in Moscow.
Throughout his early life, Abbas developed a network of Palestinian political activists from across the Arab world that would eventually become Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Abbas studied at the People’s Friendship University of Russia, where he wrote his doctoral thesis, “The Secret Relationship between German Nazis and Zionists,” which has been accused of denying the scope of the Holocaust.
After earning his doctorate, Abbas moved to Tunisia where he took a more active role in PLO leadership, and worked his way up to chairman of the organization. He became PA president following Arafat’s death in 2004.
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.