Conspiracy theories are awesome. Whether it’s faking the moon landing, covering up UFO landings in Roswell or making it look like a plane flew into the Pentagon (when we all know it was a missile) the internet is full of wild, often preposterous speculation. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I began looking to the web for answers on whether or not I should take my son to get his polio vaccine booster. Whoa! Turns out Glaxo Smith Kline cut a sweet deal with the government offering up the booster at a fraction of the cost. Now all they needed was a pretext – a public pandemonium that will drive over-protective and under-informed parents to tipat chalav (baby wellness clinics). What’s that? Traces of wild polio virus found in the sewage system in Rahat? Holy shit! What do we do? But aren’t there always trace amounts of polio in the sewage system? And isn’t it risky to introduce a live strain into the population? Couldn’t something like that backfire? Shut up and hold your son still.
So, with that in mind I’ve gathered up some of my favorite conspiracy theories from Israel. In no particular order:
1) The Rabin assassination. Oooooh. This is a juicy one. Prime Minister Rabin finishes giving a speech at a peace rally in 1995 and as he is about to enter his car a right wing extremist fanatic, Yigal Amir, pulls out a gun and shoots the prime minister. Even though the Shamgar commission confirmed that Amir, an agent supposedly trained by the Shin Bet (Israel’s secret service) in Riga (and a man who said at his trial that he had enough information that would topple the whole system) did it, several questions remain unanswered. Like why did Rabin’s bodyguards yell out “Blanks!”? Why was there gunpowder found on the body, which is consistent only with a gun shot from close range? Why was there no blood on the scene? Why did it take 22 minutes to get him to Ichilov hospital when all the streets are cordoned off and you could walk it in five minutes? Most importantly who was behind it? The answer: Shimon Peres. I’m on to you Mr. President. You and Mr. Rabin had a very, very tumultuous relationship. You had to share the Nobel peace prize with him. He took all the glory from the Oslo accords. Most importantly perhaps, he was standing in your way of becoming prime minister again. You had the most to gain. Mystery solved.
2) The Mordechai Vanunu (Israel’s Nuclear whistle blower) affair. Back in the 80’s a worker at the Dimona nuclear plant took photos from inside the non-existent Israeli nuclear facility and sold them to the Sunday Times basically confirming Israel’s nuclear arsenal of 100-200 nuclear warheads. Cut to a Hollywood style Mossad operation involving a beautiful young woman code named “Cindy” that nabbed the unsuspecting Vanunu in London. He was then clandestinely brought to Israel, interrogated in solitary confinement and then left to languish in prison for the next 18 years. Conspiracy theorists claim that the Israelis either knowingly employed Vanunu in order to leak their nuclear capabilities, i.e. Vanunu was an agent or that they simply let him blab, either way achieving their end goal. But who was responsible for orchestrating this Chuck Norris-like Golan Globus produced operation? None other than Shimon Peres. He is the architect of Israel’s alleged nuclear plant in Dimona. He spent twenty years secretly building it and hiding it underground. It stands to reason, then, that he is the one pulling the strings on this made for TV debacle.
3) The poisoning of Arafat in 2004. The rumors surrounding the PLO founder’s demise have been widespread, with Al Jazeera reporting that the Israeli Mossad was somehow behind the mysterious assassination of Yasser Arafat. Using a substance called Polonium conspiracy theorists claim that the Israelis wanted him dead but didn’t want to risk making him a martyr by looking like they killed him. Even though then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon denied the need to remove Arafat because the latter was already irrelevant, many still believe the Israelis did it, particularly in light of a similar poisoning in the Ukraine of Alexander Litvinenko by the Russians. So who is in fact behind the assassination of Yasser Arafat? You guessed it. President Shimon Peres. First of all because of the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Peres doesn’t like sharing. Secondly, because Arafat single handedly destroyed the Oslo agreements, which Peres had worked so hard on orchestrating. Imagine setting up dominoes for years and then some asshole knocking them over while you’re on the shitter. Peres had it in for him so he used his connections and had the kibosh put on the Rais. Allegedly. Hell, he even admits to it, kinda. Here.
4) One of the most tantalizing murder mysteries/conspiracies in the history of the State of Israel was the murder in 1933 of Zionist leader, head of the political department of the Jewish agency and Ben Gurion opposer, Chaim Arlozorov. As he was walking on the beach in Tel Aviv with his wife two assailants gunned him down and murdered him on the spot. Many theories have been suggested as to who killed him. Because of his conciliatory approach to the British and the Arabs he was reviled by hawkish Yishuv leaders like Ze’ev Zabotinksy and David Ben Gurion. Some say the British were the ones that ordered his killing in order to create a rift within the Jewish community. Even more fascinating is the Nazi connection to the story. In his youth in Germany Arlozorov was rumored to have had an affair with Magda Goebbels, wife of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Arlozorov tried to reach out to her in the early thirties to try and get her to talk to her husband and persuade him to ease travel restrictions on Jews and help release Jewish property. Some say that Goebbels found out and had him killed for his affair with Magda. Others say that maybe Arlozorov’s own wife ordered the hit because of her jealousy. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. But I offer you another suspect. That’s right. Shimon Peres, at the time an ambitious young teenager who wanted to impress his hero, David Ben Gurion. He came up with an elaborate scheme to remove Mr. Arlozorov and framed two Arabs in the process. Years later, in 1948, he would also be one of the masterminds in the decision to sink the Etsel ship, The Altalena.
Which brings me back to the polio vaccine. As I was researching whether or not to vaccinate my son I came across this article in which President Shimon Peres accompanies Health Minister Yael German in the campaign to promote the polio booster. The article relays a heart wrenching story that Mr. Peres recounts about his son contracting the polio virus as a child and the nightmarish days and nights he and wife Sonia spent by his bedside. He urged every mother and father in the country to vaccinate their child. Thankfully their son overcame the disease and survived.
So I did. I took D. and held him tight as he got the two drops containing a weakened strain of polio. If I’ve learned one thing from all my research it’s that it’s not a very wise life decision to disobey the Honorable President of our country. And if you’re reading this Mr. President – the aliens forced me to write this at the threat of more anal probing. You are a great, great man.
Please don’t kill me.