For One Democratic State
in the whole of Palestine (Israel)


FOR One Man, One Vote




Or Confessions of a Secret Agent

(A tribute to Hany Abu-Assad and his film[i])

By Israel Shamir


[This protocol of interrogation of General Dan Ayalon by the Reconciliation Committee (Chairman: Mustafa Nashashibi, Deputy Chairman: Yossi Atzmon, Secretary: Svetlana Kuznetsova), bears the date June 12, 2015, a few years after Israel and Palestine were united in one state, the Kingdom of Canaan. However, this confession of the last chief of the Jewish state’s security apparatus was considered so sensitive, that its publication was delayed until our own year 2035.]


Chairman: Tell us about suicide bombings of 1990s and 2000s. Why couldn’t you prevent these actions?

Ayalon: I want to remind you that nothing I say can be used against me, according to the Reconciliation Law. I intend to leave this building a free man.

Secretary: Yes, we all know that. Speak freely.

Ayalon: The suicide attacks did not occur due to our neglect or impotence. To the contrary, they were our greatest achievement.

Deputy Chairman: What do you mean by achievement? Hundreds of innocent Israelis died!

Ayalon. Remember the beginning of the 1990s? After Rabin’s electoral victory, the West Bank and Gaza were cut off from Israel; check-posts were set up, and the Palestinian workers were forbidden to come and work in Israeli cities. Their places were taken by tens of thousands of guest workers we brought in from Thailand and China. Palestinian workers could not find an employment back home, either: their lands had been taken by settlers and by the military. Being pushed off their lands, locked up in their own villages and towns, the Palestinians were bound to resist. We could not stop the Palestinian resistance completely. This was our first presumption. We had to give in somewhere, had to channel their resistance into some palatable form. This was presumption number two. The third was our desire to preserve our main advantage, their relative lack of military experience.

It takes time to train a soldier; at least half a year just for beginners. A fighter who has survived a few battles is worth ten fresh ones. With experience, a fighter becomes more daring and cautious. We were afraid that, in the course of resistance, a well-trained guerrilla army would form and challenge our hold on Palestine.

Chairman: What rot! In 1993, Arafat came back to Ramallah and Gaza with thousands of seasoned fighters, who fought in Lebanon and Jordan.

Ayalon. Arafat’s fighters had received their salaries, and did not want to fight. They wanted to rule whatever they were allowed to rule. They had yet to learn their ropes around Palestine, for the country had changed a lot since 1967, and they had had little touch with the country since then. So Arafat’s army was of no concern to us. The people we were worried about were the youth of First Intifada. They were daring, brave, knew their way around the country and they were not afraid of us. We could break their arms, as Rabin ordered, but we could not break their spirit.

Once, during a brainstorm session in my office – it was in 1993 – Motti, the head of the Psy-Op section said:

- We can’t stop their attacks, but we can kill every attacker.

- How can we achieve this?

- We can create a virus of self-destruction and infect the youth with it.

- What do you mean – a virus?

- A system virus, like the one that assaults computers. We have the greatest power in the world, our control over media. Through it, we shall glorify those who die, not those who keep fighting. What I mean is: let us promote their suicide attacks, said he.

This proposal did not make sense to me, and I said so. The “suicide attacks” we knew of in those days were usually carried out with explosives-loaded cars in Lebanon. Often as not, the driver did not know what he was driving; otherwise, he usually had a fair chance to escape. Our two heroes of 1948 drove a lorry loaded with explosives up to Jaffa town hall; they were prepared to die with the enemies, but the clock delay mechanism worked fine – 30 Arabs were killed, while the heroes got away. A proper suicide attack was usually aimed against a very serious object, something worth dying for, like the US Marines army base in 1983. In that case, the suicide driver died, but took with him some 250 Marines, and caused the withdrawal of American troops from Lebanon.

- No, said Motti. – I do not mean cars. With cars, the terrorist may escape. We shall encourage them to tie explosives on their body.

I was not convinced at all. Where would you find such silly suicides? An Arab can’t get close to any worthy target in Israel. He has no chance to enter a military base, a ministry, a house of an important man. So it has to be a low-quality target, and a high-quality fighter will die for it. Hardly a bargain, for the resistance! But Motti had a plan:

- In order to lure them into the trap, we should allow them some success, some good score. Afterwards, when they will get hooked, their successes will dwindle, but we shall achieve our goal: the best and the most noble and brave Palestinians will die.

He took out his diary, and began to draw the scheme. His idea was as follows: through our agents within the resistance, the fighters should be sent to blow up buses. We would know of their plans and would help them to get through check posts. At the same time, our liaison with the media would exaggerate our inability to deal with this threat. It would be described as “the secret weapon of Arabs”. A good fashion designer from Tel Aviv will create a sexy shaheed’s belt. All papers and TV stations would write about the martyrs. They would get lots of coverage and attract young followers, while exploits that were really dangerous for us would be covered up and silenced.

Chairman. Why did you decide to use this technique just then, in 1993, and not before?

Ayalon. There were two reasons, but only one was discussed openly. At that time, an Islamic underground movement took its first steps in mounting armed resistance; the movement lacked experienced cadres but was eager to show its hand. They were ready to try harder, and the idea of achieving results without long training appealed to them. They also attracted more spiritually oriented young men and women who were ready to sacrifice their lives.

Deputy Chairman. And what was the second, hidden reason?

Ayalon. Well, none of us was fond of Yitzhak Rabin, of the left-wing Labour party, or of the Oslo accords. We felt that if, at the same time, our plan would derail Israeli left, and bring Likud to power, it wouldn’t be a bad thing. And so it did!

Secretary. Had you no heart? How could you allow your enemies to kill innocent bus passengers?

Ayalon. Gentlemen, we could not channel Palestinians’ anger into sand. Somebody had to be killed, but we had the luxury of deciding what sort of killing would get the green light. If we did not allow them to bomb the low-quality rabble that rides buses they would hit specific and painful targets. Think of Rehavam Zeevi, the minister. He was shot at a hotel in Jerusalem, and his assassin escaped. This was painful: today they kill Gandhi [Zeevi’s nickname], tomorrow they kill the Prime Minister!

Deputy Chairman. Or even you.

Ayalon. Indeed, even me! They could go after specific targets and make our life difficult. These targets could appear justifiable to a foreign audience, and even to Israelis. We uncovered a plan to assassinate the contractors who built the Wall. The names of the contractors were well known, and we could not protect them all. Two or three successful hits and we would have no contractor ready to build the Wall. They could target people well-known for their cruelty. For instance, an Israeli newspaper published an interview with “Captain George”, a Shabak officer who raped the captive Lebanese, Dirani. The newspaper gave enough hints to find the man, and there was a Palestinian group trying to locate “the Beast”, as the newspaper called him. Another group planned an attack on the settler Avri Ran who terrorised the peasants of Yanoun. They could take a page from our book, and kill prominent supporters of Israel: editors, journalists, politicians in the US and Europe. This would cool off our support base rapidly, as our assassination of Lord Moyne in 1944, for adam karov etzel atzmo, says the Talmud: a man cares about his own skin first of all. This is why we gave a green light to bus bombers. Only when the pattern was established, when every Palestinian child dreamt of suicide bomber’s glory, did we block off the buses. After that, the suicide bombers had very little success: markets, places frequented by dropouts, junk food stalls. Your average suicide bomber killed 1.4 Israelis, but even this 1.4 usually were poor, retired or other people of no importance.

Deputy Chairman. How could you say such things about your fellow-Jews!

Ayalon. In my youth, I met with Yitzhak Sade, the Haganah commander, the hero of 1948. I asked him about the M/S Patria, a refugee ship he and his men sank in Haifa harbour killing 250 Jews. Had he no pangs of conscience? He told me: sometimes, you have to sacrifice Jews, so the Jewish People will live forever. But we tried to spare Jews. For instance, one of our well-planned operations was aimed against the Russians. It was very successful: the victims were mainly non-Jewish Russian immigrants who went to desecrate Sabbath in a seashore disco; but this explosion helped to bring the Russian community closer to us. Before this event, they felt little solidarity with Israel. Moreover, we organised the German Foreign Minister, Yoshka Fischer’s stay in an hotel and a room overlooking the disco. This was not easy: no high officials ever stayed in this hotel – rather too far from Central Tel Aviv. But our people convinced him that it was newer and more comfortable. He stayed, practically witnessed the blast himself, and became devoted to the Jewish cause.

Chairman. How could you direct the bomber to this specific place?

Ayalon. In this case, the bomber was on our payroll, and he had no idea that his suitcase contained explosives. He was taken to the place by one of our agents, and was told to deliver the case to the manager of the disco. In other cases, our agents within the resistance directed the bombers. In any case, the bombers did not understand Israeli society: thus, a young promising student from Nablus killed himself in the Carmel Market of Tel Aviv. He thought that in Tel Aviv, like in Nablus, everybody goes to the market stalls. As a matter of fact, he killed two retired men and a Chinese guest worker, while wasting himself. Thus, it was not a 100% fool-proof operation – some bombers exploded where we did not want them to, but even they were not about to strike again. They would always die – and that was the best part of the plan.

Just think what they could do otherwise! Do you remember the lone sniper of Wadi Haramiyeh, who shot and killed 10 of our soldiers? His main advantage was that he acted alone, so none of our agents could inform us beforehand. He did not try to die – he tried to kill. If there were more such fighters, our rule would collapse.

Secretary. But the suicides were not only in Palestine, but in Iraq and elsewhere! Would you claim this was also your achievement?

Ayalon. No, and that was the best part of it. After we established the pattern, people would copycat it. Actually, people always copycat every well-advertised deed. As in those years we had strong influence on the world media (owned a big part of it, as well), we could make PR for whatever we want. If we had given full coverage to the sniper of Wadi Haramyeh, the next day there would be hundreds of youths trying to repeat his deed. That is why we blotted his name. But suicide operations would always get full coverage. Amusingly, this invention of ours became a Muslim trademark, though prior to 1993 no Muslim had ever participated in one. In order to hide this fact, our people in the media and our experts in the Academy muddled the issue by referring to heretic Assassins and to Lebanese car-bombers, though these terrorists had a chance to escape and survive. They also attacked big and important targets. We invented the only sure-fire method to kill the best Palestinian and Muslim youth for a small price – by inflicting them with our media-borne virus of self-destruction.

Chairman: the commission will retire for discussion. Please wait here. (a few minutes later). We thank you, General, for your frankness. You appreciate that so many fine young men and women, the best youth of Palestine, died in this horrible and quite useless way. The discovery that it was your trick would ruin lives of their proud parents. Moreover, you presented no proof for your version of events: it could be a play of your imagination. It is better for everybody to let the dead heroes sleep undisturbed. In accordance with article 12b of Reconciliation Law I declare this subject closed and sealed from public eyes for 50 years.



[i] [Paradise Now, a film by Hany Abu Assad about suicide bombers]