With U.S.-Israeli bilateral relations hitting a new low this week, the Qatari-financed news broadcaster Al Jazeera America is tonight broadcasting a special report on the USS Liberty, the American naval vessel that came under deadly fire from Israeli forces on June 8, 1967 — the fourth day of the Six Day War which pitted the Jewish state against a coalition of Arab armies.
Thirty-four Americans died and 171 were injured in the attack. Israel said it mistook the Liberty for an enemy vessel, the Egyptian ship El Quseir. Subsequently, Israel issued a full apology for the attack, and has to date paid out more than $12 million in compensation to the survivors and their families, as well as the U.S. government.
In an interview with The Algemeiner, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren, an expert on the Liberty affair who now serves as Ambassador-in-Residence at The Atlantic Council, asserted that “thousands of pages of formerly classified documents on the Liberty have been declassified, both Israeli and American. None of those documents — I stress none — indicate that the Liberty was anything other than a tragic friendly fire episode.”
Among the declassified documents, Oren said, “are the tapes made by Israeli pilots and the tapes intercepted by American intelligence. All of them indicate that the Liberty attack was an accident. Every once in a while, someone comes up with ‘new evidence,’ but it always falls short.”
The USS Liberty affair has long been a favored topic of Israel’s harshest critics in America, as well as more extreme antisemitic conspiracy theorists, who insist the attack was deliberate. These detractors charge that Israel attacked the Liberty because the ship was eavesdropping on Israeli plans to attack the Syrian-controlled Golan Heights. Oren, who authored an extensive report on the matter, is adamant that “Israel made no attempt to hide its preparations for an offensive against Syria, and that the United States government, relying on regular diplomatic channels, remained fully apprised of them.” According to Oren, the attack was a tragic example of friendly fire, with severe operational errors made by both American and Israeli military planners.
Another theory advanced by …read more
Source:: The Algemeiner