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June 14, 2011

"Spontaneous" Border Crossing was Planned, Says Document

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If authentic, a document passed to Michael Weiss shows that the Syrian cross-border infiltration into the Golan Heights was carefully planned at the highest levels. If authentic, it also highlights an embarrassing abandonment by some journalists of one of their most important tools: skepticism.

The document relays an order, from the highest levels, for Syrian security personnel to

grant permission of passage to all twenty vehicles (47 passenger capacity) with the attached plate numbers that are scheduled to arrive at ten in the morning on Sunday May 15, 2011 without being questioned or stopped until it reaches or frontier defense locations.

Permission is hereby granted allowing approaching crowds to cross the cease fire line (with Israel) towards the occupied Majdal-Shamms, and to further allow them to engage physically with each other in front of United Nations agents and offices. Furthermore, there is no objection if a few shots are fired in the air.

Captain Samer Shahin from the military intelligence division is hereby appointed to the leadership of the group assigned to break-in and infiltrate deep into the occupied Syrian Golan Heights with a specified pathway to avoid land mines.

It is essential to ensure that no one carries military identification or a weapon as they enter with a strict emphasis on the peaceful and spontaneous nature of the protest.

Again, if authentic, then some journalists were clearly duped, willingly or otherwise, by the Syrian autocracy. For example Time's Karl Vick, who generally reacts to Israeli claims dismissively, dutifully reported on the infiltration as follows:

Under close questioning, the infiltrators closed the intelligence gap with a shrug and one word: Facebook. The operation that had caught Israel's vaunted military and intelligence complex flat-footed was announced, nursed and triggered on the social-networking site that has figured in every uprising around the Arab world - and is helping young Palestinians change the terms of their fight against Israel.

Although he did eventually point out that "Israeli officials interpreted" the situation as being spurred by the Syrian government, he quickly let readers know (as he tends to do) that they shouldn't believe the Israelis:

Israeli officials interpreted protesters' apparent ease of access to a military zone as evidence of sponsorship by the battered government of President Bashar Assad. With street protests threatening his regime in cities across Syria, the reasoning goes, Assad found in the Nakba protests a perfect opportunity to shift the focus to Israel.

But Fadi Quran, a Ramallah organizer in the Palestinian youth movement that promoted the marches, says his contacts in Syria were actually terrified of the Assad government, which took steps to prevent some from traveling to the protests from refugee camps near Damascus, where they have lived since fleeing their homes in what is now northern Israel.

Terrified, presumably, of being permitted to travel "without being questioned or stopped."

Posted by GI at June 14, 2011 10:33 AM

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