Friends in Genocide: Myanmar and Israel Sign Education Deal to Rewrite History

In 1982, the General Efrain Rios Montt came to power after a military coup, becoming president of Guatemala between 1982 and 1983. During an interview with ABC News, Rios Montt said the coup had easily succeeded because many of this soldiers “were trained by Israelis.”

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The governments of both governments signed an education cooperation agreement Monday allowing them to rewrite their own history in each other’s textbooks, contributing to a more benevolent image of them and their responsibility in genocide against the Palestinians by Israel and against the Rohingya muslims in Myanmar.

According to the agreement, of which the Israeli newspaper Haaretz got a copy, the countries will “cooperate to develop programs for the teaching of the Holocaust and its lessons of the negative consequences of intolerance, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia as a part of the school curriculum in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.”

“An education agreement with Myanmar. Cooperation continues with our friends all over the world.”

 

However, both countries fail to remember and acknowledge their own violent, intolerant, racist, and xenophobic acts against native populations in their countries or in territories they control.

The agreement will also promote academic cooperation, including conferences, training courses and even the development of Israeli and Jewish studies programs in Myanmar and Myanmar studies in Israel, including language programs.

The countries will be able to “mutually verify school textbooks, particularly concerning the passages referring to the history of the other state and, where needed, introduce corrections to these textbooks,” a move that will basically allow them to write their own nationalist narratives in each others’ textbooks and ignore that fact that Israel and Myanmar have been respectively ethnic cleansing their territories from the Palestinian and Rohingya peoples.

A Rohingya refugee stands next to a pond in the early morning at the Balukhali refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh December 26, 2017.

The Rohingya, a Muslim minority in the predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, have been victims of a systematic ethnic cleansing program by the government for years, but the process intensified in 2017 when the military carried out mass executions and rape, forcing about 700,000 of them to flee to Bangladesh and other neighboring countries.

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The United Nations has said Myanmar’s campaign against the Rohingya Muslim population “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

“Of course Israel sees Myanmar as a friend. Both states share  the same exclusionist world view. Both states have engaged in mass state crime criminality against those they have defined as non-citizens. Both states operate systems of apartheid, structural discrimination and unfettered state brutality. It is entirely predictable that they now engage in a shared educational programme of state crime denial,” Penny Green, professor of law and globalization at Queen Mary University of London, told Middle East Eye.

But cooperation between Israel and Myanmar is not only ideological. More than 100 tanks, as well as boats and light weapons have been sold to the Myanmar government by Israeli arms companies, according to investigations by several human rights groups, despite the United States and the European Union imposing an arms embargo against Myanmar.

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One company, TAR Ideal Concepts, has also trained Myanmar special forces in northern Rakhine state, where much of the violence is taking place.

Israel has a long history of contributing to other countries’ own genocide.

In 1982, the General Efrain Rios Montt came to power after a military coup, becoming president of Guatemala between 1982 and 1983. During an interview with ABC News, Rios Montt said the coup had easily succeeded because many of this soldiers “were trained by Israelis.”

The Israeli military then helped Guatemalan regimes that carried out a genocide against the Mayan population. Between 1954 and 1996, the Guatemalan juntas killed more than 200,000 people, 83 percent of which were Indigenous Mayans. The period known as the “Mayan Genocide,” which lasted from 1981 to 1983, coincides with the peak of Israel-Guatemala military cooperation.

It comes as no surprise that many voices in Guatemalan politics, especially from the right-wing, deny there had been any ethnic cleansing in the country.

 

The new Guatemalan embassy in occupied Jerusalem

This mansion in Hayy Talbiyyah in Jerusalem was stolen by Zionist gangs in 1948 from its owner Hanna Bisharat. It was donated this year by the occupation state to the Guatemalan embassy to establish its embassy there. The house was constructed in 1926 and was stolen by Zionist terrorist gangs on April 15th, 1948. Golda Meir lived in it.

 

 January 2016 saw the arrests of 18 former military officers for their alleged part in the country’s dirty war of the 1980s. In February last year, two ex-soldiers were convicted in an unprecedented wartime sexual slavery case from the same era.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. (Photo credit: Jim Wallace of the Smithsonian Institution)

Ben-Menashe traced the Israeli arms sales to Guatemala back to a private network established in the 1970s by Gen. Ariel Sharon

Such legal proceedings represent further openings in the judicial system following the 2013 trial and conviction of former head of state General Efraín Ríos Montt for genocide and crimes against humanity. Although the Guatemalan Constitutional Court very quickly annulled the trial (finally restarted in March after fitful stops and starts, but currently stalled again), a global precedent has been set for holding national leaders accountable in the country where their crimes took place.

And in November, a Guatemalan judge allowed a separate case against Ríos Montt to proceed. The case relates to the 1982 massacre in the village of Dos Erres.

Ríos Montt was president from 1982 to 1983, a period marked by intense state violence against the indigenous Mayan peoples. The violence included the destruction of entire villages, resulting in mass displacement.

Mayans were repeatedly targeted during the period of repression that lasted from 1954 – when the US engineered a military coup – to 1996. More than 200,000 people were killed in Guatemala during that period, 83 percent of whom were Mayans.

The crimes committed by the Guatemalan state were carried out with foreign – particularly US – assistance. One key party to these crimes has so far eluded any mention inside the courts: Israel.

Israeli arms and training fuelled Guatemalan unrest

Proxy for US

From the 1980s to today, Israel’s extensive military role in Guatemala remains an open secret that is well-documented but receives scant criticism.

Discussing the military coup which installed him as president in 1982, Ríos Montt told an ABC News reporter that his regime takeover went so smoothly “because many of our soldiers were trained by Israelis.” In Israel, the press reported that 300 Israeli advisers were on the ground training Ríos Montt’s soldiers.

One Israeli adviser in Guatemala at the time, Lieutenant Colonel Amatzia Shuali, said: “I don’t care what the Gentiles do with the arms. The main thing is that the Jews profit,” as recounted in Dangerous Liaison by Andrew and Leslie Cockburn.

Some years earlier, when Congressional restrictions under the Carter administration limited US military aid to Guatemala due to human rights violations, Israeli economic and military technology leaders saw a golden opportunity to enter the market.

Yaakov Meridor, then an Israeli minister of economy, indicated in the early 1980s that Israel wished to be a proxy for the US in countries where it had decided not to openly sell weapons. Meridor said: “We will say to the Americans: Don’t compete with us in Taiwan; don’t compete with us in South Africa; don’t compete with us in the Caribbean or in other places where you cannot sell arms directly. Let us do it … Israel will be your intermediary.”

Israeli and Guatemalan flags

The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather program attempted to explain the source of Israel’s global expertise by noting in 1983 that the advanced weaponry and methods Israel peddled in Guatemala had been successfully “tried and tested on the West Bank and Gaza, designed simply to beat the guerrilla.”

Israel’s selling points for its weapons relied not only on their use in the occupied West Bank and Gaza but also in the wider region. Journalist George Black reported that Guatemalan military circles admired the Israeli army’s performance during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Their overseas admiration was so unabashed that rightists in Guatemala “spoke openly of the ‘Palestinianization’ of the nation’s rebellious Mayan Indians,” according to Black.

Military cooperation between Israel and Guatemala has been traced back to the 1960s. By the time of Ríos Montt’s rule, Israel had become Guatemala’s main provider of weapons, military training, surveillance technology and other vital assistance in the state’s war on urban leftists and rural indigenous Mayans.

In turn, many Guatemalans suffered the results of this special relationship and have connected Israel to their national tragedy.

Man of integrity?

General Rios Montt, Guatemala’s bloody dictator who rose to power in 1982 with the help of 300 Israeli military ‘advisers’

One of the most haunting massacres committed during this period was the destruction of the El Petén district village named Dos Erres. Ríos Montt’s Israeli-trained soldiers burned Dos Erres to the ground. First, however, its inhabitants were shot. Those who survived the initial attack on the village had their skulls smashed with sledgehammers. The bodies of the dead were stuffed down the village well.

During a court-ordered exhumation in the village, investigators working for the 1999 UN Truth Commission cited the following in their forensics report: “All the ballistic evidence recovered corresponded to bullet fragments from firearms and pods of Galil rifles, made in Israel.”

Then US President Ronald Reagan – whose administration would later be implicated in the “Iran-Contra” scandal for running guns to Iran through Israel, in part to fund a paramilitary force aiming to topple Nicaragua’s Marxist government – visited Ríos Montt just days before the massacre.

Reagan praised Ríos Montt as “a man of great personal integrity” who “wants to improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to promote social justice.” Reagan also assured the Guatemalan president that “the United States is committed to support his efforts to restore democracy and to address the root causes of this violent insurgency.” At one point in their conversation, Reagan is reported to have embraced Ríos Montt and told the Guatemalan president he was getting “a bum rap” on human rights.

Jimmy Morales, Guatemala’s far Right President and Netanyahu

In November 2016, however, judge Claudette Dominguez accepted the Guatemalan attorney general’s request to prosecute Ríos Montt as intellectual author of the Dos Erres massacre, pressing him with charges of aggravated homicide, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Among the 18 arrested this year was Benedicto Lucas García, former army chief of staff under his brother Romeo Lucas García’s military presidency. Benedicto, who was seen by some of his soldiers as an innovator of torture techniques for use on children, described “the Israeli soldier [as] a model and an example to us.”

In 1981, Benedicto headed the inauguration ceremony of an Israeli-designed and financed electronics school in Guatemala. Its purpose was to train the Guatemalan military on using so-called counterinsurgency technologies. Benedicto lauded the school’s establishment as a “positive step” in advancing the Guatemalan regime to world-class military efficiency “thanks to [Israel’s] advice and transfer of electronic technology.”

In its inaugural year alone, the school enabled the regime’s secret police, known as the G-2, to raid some 30 safe houses of the Revolutionary Organization of People in Arms (ORPA).

The G-2 coordinated the assassination, “disappearance” and torture of opponents to the Guatemalan government.

While Guatemalan governments frequently changed hands – through both coups and elections – during the 1980s, Israel remained Guatemala’s main source of weapons and military advice.

Colombian paramilitaries were trained by Tel Aviv

Belligerence at the border

The Israeli military-security complex casts a long, intercontinental shadow over Guatemalans who are still fleeing the consequences of the dirty war.

In some areas along the US-Mexico border, such as in Texas, the numbers of migrants hailing today from Central America (but only from the countries combusted by US intervention – Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras) – has begun to outpace the number coming from Mexico.

According to information provided to this author by the Pima County Medical Examiner’s office in Arizona, many Guatemalans who have perished while crossing these desert borderlands originated from among the indigenous Mayan areas hit hardest by the 1980s genocide: El Quiché, Huehuetenango, Chimaltenango.

Southern Arizona has also seen a spike in undocumented Guatemalan migration. US firms and institutions have been collaborating with Israeli security companies to up-armor Southern Arizona’s border zone.

The Israeli weapons firm Elbit won a major government contract to provide 52 surveillance towers in Southern Arizona’s desert borderlands, beginning with the pilot program of seven towers currently placed among the hills and valleys surrounding Nogales, a border town split by the wall.

More towers are slated to surround the Tohono O’odham Nation, the second largest Native American reservation in the US. Already the number of federal forces occupying permanent positions on Tohono O’odham lands is the largest in US history.

Alan Bersin, a senior figure in the US Department of Homeland Security, described Guatemala’s border with Chiapas, Mexico, as “now our southern border” in 2012. That “southern border” was heavily militarized during Barack Obama’s eight years as US president.

We can safely expect that militarization to continue during Donald Trump’s presidency. Trump’s anti-migrant rhetoric during the presidential election campaign suggests it is likely to be intensified.

Hugo Roitman — corrupt Israeli businessman arrested in Guatemala

During the dirty war, tens of thousands of Guatemalans fled over this border into Southern Mexico. Today, Israel assists the Mexican authorities in Chiapas with “counterinsurgency” activities largely targeting the indigenous Maya community.

Though media reporting on Guatemala’s connection with Israel has dissipated, Israel’s enterprising efforts in the country have never diminished. Today, Israel’s presence in Guatemala is especially pronounced in the private security industry which proliferated in the years following the so-called Guatemalan peace process of the mid-1990s.

Ohad Steinhart, an Israeli, relocated to Guatemala at this opportune moment, originally working as a weapons instructor. Roughly two years after his 1994 move to Guatemala, he founded his own security firm, Decision Ejecutiva.

Steinhart’s modest 300-employee company is small compared with the colossal Golan Group, Israel’s largest and oldest private security conglomerate in Guatemala.

Founded by ex-Israeli special forces officers, the Golan Group has also trained Department of Homeland Security immigration agents along the US-Mexico border. The Golan Group has employed thousands of agents in Guatemala, some of whom have been involved in repressing environmental and land rights protests against mining operations by Canadian firms. The company was named in a 2014 lawsuit by six Guatemalan farmers and a student who were all shot at close range by security agents during a protest the previous year.

Guatemala’s use of Israeli military trainers and advisers, just as in the 1980s, continues. Israeli advisers have, in recent years, been assisting the current “remilitarization” of Guatemala. Journalist Dawn Paley has reported that Israeli military trainers have shown up once again at an active military base in Coban, which is the site of mass graves from the 1980s. The remains of several hundred people have so far been uncovered there.

The mass graves at Coban serve as the legal basis for the January arrests of 14 former military officers. This past June a Guatemalan judge ruled that the evidence is sufficient for eight of those arrested to stand trial. Future arrests and trials are likely to follow.

Scholars Milton H. Jamail and Margo Gutierrez documented the Israeli arms trade in Central America, notably in Guatemala, in their 1986 book It’s No Secret: Israel’s Military Involvement in Latin America. They worded the title that way because the bulk of the information in the book came from mainstream media sources.

For now, Israel’s well-documented role in Guatemala’s dirty wars passes largely without comment. But Guatemalans know better than most that the long road to accountability begins with acknowledgment.

Yet it is unclear how long it will be before we hear of Israeli officials being called to Guatemala to be tried for the shadowy part they played in the country’s darkest hours.

electronicintifada

Guatemala raises flag over new Jerusalem embassy in Occupied Palestine

Evil monsters do attract.

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The US Congress, under the Carter administration, had limited American military aid to Guatemala due to human rights violations. This is where the criminal Zionist entity comes in.

“The anti-guerrilla weapons and methods used in Guatemala had already been successfully tested in the West Bank and Gaza Strip”

“I was moved to see the flag of Guatemala waving in Jerusalem in advance of the opening of the Guatemalan embassy later this month. Dear friends, welcome back to our eternal capital,” Netanyahu said.

The adjective ‘eternal’ is always emphasized, overcompensating for lack of truth and validity.

Yuval Rotem, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote on Twitter: “Wonderful to see Guatemala’s flag flying proudly above the new Guatemalan embassy in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. Looking forward to seeing many more flags joining Guatemala’s in the city of peace.” Which occupied Jerusalem is anything but.

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There has not been peace in Jerusalem since the arrival of Zionism and Israel.

While the Zionist entity’s criminal techniques have always been openly flagrant in occupied Palestine, its hidden role in supporting the criminal Junta South American military is still unknown.

Yet, since its creation, the Tel-Aviv criminal regime has supported many Latin American dictators. Having been involved in several “dirty wars” against the peoples of this continent, the Zionist entity puts both experience as well as expertise at the service of the most brutal regimes.

The list of countries to which Israel has supplied weapons, advisers, trained soldiers, or even paramilitaries is very long. However, Guatemala’s scene remains one of the greatest examples.

This Central American state has ancient ties with Tel Aviv. Indeed, it was one of the first states to recognize the Zionist entity in 1948. It was recently honored by the Knesset for its support of the colonial entity’s creation.

The Zionist regime has thus brought its criminal expertise to Guatemala since the 1960s; it was heavily involved in one of the bloodiest counterrevolutionary campaigns in South America.

This “operation” caused the extermination of more than 200,000 people, mostly Mayan Indians, not to mention the destruction of many villages, along with massive displacements.

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Ríos Montt had an ally : Israel. The Israelis not only supplied Ríos Montt’s regime with plenty of arms, but also worked closely with it to provide both intelligence and direct operational training. Guatemalan military members were brought to Israel for training and Israeli officers went to Guatemala to train the genocidal force. Ríos Montt actually told ABC News that the success of his army occurred because “our soldiers were trained by Israelis.”

Does this not remind you of anything? Indians, Palestinians, same fate, same methods, same controlling Zionist experts.
According to journalist George Black, Guatemalan politicians went beyond that; they did not hesitate to “speak openly about The ‘Palestinization’ of the Mayan Indian rebellions”.

Since 1954, the date of the US-led coup, and until the late 1990s, the country’s population was subjected to fierce repression by the dictatorial regime.
If the American aid in this repression was public knowledge, the Israeli role, although well documented, has rarely been brought up in mass media. This is probably due to the fact that these propaganda tools, which work for Zionism, did not wish to further darken the criminal entity’s image.

This Israeli involvement was highlighted during the past year, when the Guatemalan judiciary triggered a number of procedures to hold the criminals during the repression years accountable.

Thus, in January 2016, eighteen former soldiers, including senior officers, were arrested for their alleged involvement in the “dirty war”, which was carried out by the regime against its population in the 1980s.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. (Photo credit: Jim Wallace of the Smithsonian Institution)

In the early 1980s, Sharon was Israel’s Minister of Defense collaborating with the Reagan administration on secret shipments of weapons to Iran and claiming a green light for the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which led to the massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in 1982, carried out by Israel’s Christian Lebanese allies under Sharon’s protection.

Before this, in 2013, Guatemala’s judiciary decided to open the trial for genocides and crimes which violated human rights against Ríos Montt, who ruled the country with an iron fist in 1982 and 1983 following a coup, said to be supported by the CIA.

Although it was a short period, it was one of the deadliest throughout the Guatemalan civil war. The former dictator is sentenced to 80 years in prison for genocide and crimes against humanity, but the Constitutional Court quickly annulled the judgment that was revived last March.

During Ríos Montt’s dictatorship, the Israeli criminal entity was the main supplier of weapons, military training, surveillance technology, and other services which were serving Guatemala’s campaign to suppress armed resistance movements and indigenous Mayans.

Cooperation between the two countries has always been very close regardless of leadership changes, and has continued until the last few years. Indeed, today, the Zionist entity is largely present in Guatemala, especially in the private security industry.

The country has developed considerably as a result of the peace process in the mid-1990s. The Israeli security companies take care of securing the borders with southern Mexico; the country to which tens of thousands of Guatemalans fled during the “dirty war”.

Two reasons motivate Israel’s involvement with South America’s dictators:

 The first is clearly an economic reason: the colonial state is a major actor in the war industry and is among the world’s top 10 largest suppliers of weapons.

 “Israeli companies say that their weapons have been tested on the ground, which is a powerful selling point”https://www.partiantisioniste.com/en/news/france-is-fond-of-the-israeli-weapons-tested-on-palestinian-civilians.htm

For example, on American CBS TV channel, in a show hosted by the famous journalist Dan Rather, dated 1983, it was stated that the anti-guerrilla weapons and methods used in Guatemala had already been successfully tested in the West Bank and Gaza Strip”.

·         The second reason is a geostrategic one: Tel-Aviv serves as a subcontractor to its American ally and protector when the latter cannot intervene directly, for image reasons or reasons of domestic politics. Thus, the US Congress, under the Carter administration, had limited American military aid to Guatemala due to human rights violations.This is where the criminal Zionist entity comes in.

Yaakov Meridor, Israeli Minister of Economy in the early 1980s, who had also died since then, said at the time that Israel wanted to be a “relay” for the United States in countries where it decided NOT to openly sell weapons”.

Moreover, declassified official documents revealed that the US had asked Israel to support the counter-revolution in Guatemala. Moreover, in a note written by Lieutenant-Colonel Oliver North, a member of the “National Security Council” under president Reagan, which was later found in the “Iran Gate” case, it was written that: “As discussed yesterday, I asked the CIA and the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs to provide assistance to Guatemala. This could be settled by the Israelis”.

In another note it was written that: “We have good reason to believe that our good friends, the Israelis, are ready – or have already done so – to deliver large quantities of military equipment to Guatemala’s government.”

The Anti-Zionist Party once again condemns the criminal acts of the Zionist entity which, in addition to exterminating the Palestinian people, exports its expertise to help bloody dictators repress their citizens.
It is high time for those responsible for this illegitimate colonial regime to face an international tribunal which judges and condemns them for their role in Guatemala during the country’s bloody years.

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