The Day Israel Attacked the US

The war and humanitarian crimes committed by Israel remain, for the past 68 years, unpunished due to the protection that the United States provides. This is even more surprising when one knows of the strange occurrence with the USS Liberty (AGTR-5) in the international waters of the eastern Mediterranean. The latter was attacked by six Mirage III and an Israeli warship on June 8, 1967, the third day of the Six-Day War. Even more peculiar is that this attack against the main ally and protector of the Hebrew state remained confidential [until] painfully resurfacing about 40 years later. Yet during the [periods of] aggression against its ships, such as those against the USS Cole (DDG-67) in Yemen, the U.S. investigations lead to a huge uproar. For the USS Liberty, there was total silence.

The vague and often twisted game of power appears in all its strangeness and treachery in the aforementioned “incident” of the USS Liberty, a spy ship working on behalf of two U.S. intelligence agencies: the National Security Agency and the Office of Naval Intelligence. Choked, buried in limbo, and known only to the world of espionage, this sulfurous case returned to the surface in May of 2005 after a report on the “Israeli war crimes committed against U.S. military personnel” was submitted to the secretary of defense (Donald Rumsfeld at the time). This return to the surface showed one of the most incredible episodes of the Six-Day War in June of 1967.

However, the veil is far from being lifted and, in contrast, poses the question: Why had the U.S. spy ship been sent to the scene [in the first place]? This [uncertainty] indicates, at a minimum, that the United States was aware of the imminent Israeli attack on Egypt, Syria and Jordan. According to documents of the time, the USS Liberty left its home port in Norfolk, Virginia on May 24, 1967 and sailed to the Spanish port La Rota on June 1, 1967. The next day, it left [La Rota] for the eastern Mediterranean. The coincidence of a spy ship that journeys 7,000 kilometers to cross the Atlantic to arrive just on time at the beginning of a war is no ordinary circumstance.

Due to its timeliness, the USS Liberty had first-row seats [to the war]. Not all had been said regarding this sad fact of the Six-Day War. On June 8, 1967, the spy ship was north of El-Arish in Sinai, Egypt. What had it come to do? According to the declarations of men on board the USS Liberty, they were charged with listening to military and political communications of the three Arab countries. Therefore, the ship’s mission was not to spy on Israel. How [else] do we explain this aggression, which is at the very least inconceivable? What motivations drove the U.S. authorities to put great pressure on the families of American victims (34 deaths and 171 wounded, including many [who would be] disabled for life) to refrain from discussing the war crime with the media?

In recent years, many books have been written on the case in the United States. However, their writing continued to remain nearly confidential and did not resonate in the absence of real treatment of the record by the authorities and the media. Therefore, opacity continued to surround the case that highlights the political impostures of the United States. We had to wait 47 years — until November 2014 — when Americans (finally) had knowledge of the aggression committed against American citizens, around whom the country’s authorities placed a wall of silence. The shocking document diffused by the Qatari channel Al Jazeera America was a veritable bomb and felt like humiliation to the Americans.

The war crimes committed by Israel are innumerable — the last time was against the Turkish humanitarian ship MV Mavi Marmara in May 2010. Experts are lost in the conjecture: Was the attack deliberate and covered up by the United States? This [echoes] the episode of Pearl Harbor in 1941. A mistake? Improbable! The American ship was perfectly identifiable. In all [related] scenarios, the question remains: Who made the decision? For what reason?

However, this did not stop the United States from providing military aid worth billions of dollars to Israel. It is true that the relations between Washington and Tel Aviv are characterized by treachery and dirty tricks. What about the war and humanitarian crimes committed daily against the Palestinian people by Israel? Who will ever have the courage to denounce the impunity Israel enjoys?

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