“All the NewsrnUnfit to Print” g>ign0 0f tJfe (SimzBrnVol. 1 No. 2 February 1999rnPlundering the treasures of conqueredrnlands has always been a fair game, fromrnNeolithic herds and Sabine women tornworks of art: Byzantine statuary adornsrnSt. Marco’s in Venice, and Elgin’s marblesrnare in London to stay. But moving arnland itself across an intemational frontierrnis a novel concept, one which is beingrntried in the Middle East, as Robert Fisk reportedrnfrom Beirut in the Independentrn(November 5):rnI s r a e l occupies Arab land:rnmost of the P a l e s t i n i a n WestrnBank, part of the GazarnS t r i p , a l l of the SyrianrnGolan Heights and 10 perrncent of Lebanon. But now, i trnturns out, I s r a e l i s takingrnthe land of Lebanon—quiternliterally—to I s r a e l . Thousandsrnof tons of Lebaneserns o i l are being s e c r e t lyrntrucked over the border intornI s r a e l from the south ofrnLebanon t o f e r t i l i s e thernfarmlands of I s r a e l irnG a l i l e e . I s r a e l i bulldozersrnare s t r i p p i n g the topsoilrnoff Lebanese farmland . . .rnt o help I s r a e l i farmers twornmiles further south—on thernother side of the border—torngrow tomatoes and o l i v e s .rn. . . And the Lebanese government,rnneedless to say,rnhas vainly coitplained tornboth the U.N. and the EuropeanrnUnion about the t h e f t .rnThe Lebanese land will not be used torngrow legumes: The Israelis oppose landrnfor peas.rnIsrael’s principal Muslim enemy theserndays is not in Lebanon but in Iraq, whosernleader possesses chemical and biologicalrn”weapons of mass destruction.” The Israehs,rnhowever, apparently have a biologicalrntrick or two up their own sleeves, asrnUzi Mahnaimi and Marie Colvin report inrnthe Sunday Times of London (“Israelrnplanning ‘ethnic’ bomb as Saddam cavesrnin,” November 15):rnIsrael is working on a biologicalrnweapon that wouldrnhaira Arabs but not Jews, accordingrnto Israeli militaryrnand western intelligencernsources. The weapon, targetingrnvictims by ethnicrnorigin, is seen as Israel’srnresponse to Iraq’s threat ofrnchemical and biological attacks.rn. . . In developingrnthe “ethno-bomb,” Israelirnscientists are trying to exploitrnmedical advances byrnidentifying distinctiverngenes carried by some Arabs,rnthen create a geneticallyrnmodified bacterium or virus.rn. . . The scientists are tryingrnto engineer deadly micro-rnorganisms that attackrnonly those bearing the distinctiverngenes. The programmernis based at the biologicalrninstitute in NesrnTziyona, the main researchrnfacility for Israel’s clandestinernarsenal of chemicalrnand biological weapons.rnA scientist there said therntask was hugely cortplicatedrnbecause both Arabs and Jewsrnare of Semitic origin. Butrnhe added: “They have, however,rnsucceeded in pinpointingrna particular characteristicrnin the genetic profile ofrncertain Arab communities,rnparticularly the Iraqi peoplern.” The disease could bernspread by spraying the organismsrninto the air orrnputting them in water suppliesrn. The research mirrorsrnbiological studies conductedrnby South African scientistsrnduring the apartheid era.rn. . . The “ethno-bomb”rnclaims have been given credencernin Foreign Report, arnJane’s piiblication thatrnclosely monitors securityrnand defence matters. It reportsrnunnamed South Africanrnsources as saying Israelirnscientists have used some ofrnthe South African researchrnin trying to develop anrn”ethnic bullet” againstrnArabs. It also says Israelisrndiscovered aspects ofrnthe Arab genetic make-up byrnresearching on “Jews of Arabrnorigin,” especially Iraqis.rnTo paraphrase Murphy, if a weapon ofrnmass destruction can be developed, it willrnbe. Once the weapon exists, it is temptingrnto use it—as documents discovered recentlyrnat Great Britain’s Public RecordsrnOffice reveal. According to the documents,rnWinston Churchill contemplatedrndrenching Germany with poison gas inrnthe last year of World War II. As thernGuardian reported on November 2,rnChurchill discussed the possibility in arnmemorandum to General Sir Hastings Ismay,rnsecretary of the war cabinet, in Julyrn1944:rn”It is absurd,” he wrote,rn”to consider morality onrnthis topic when everybodyrnused it in the last war withoutrna word of conplaint fromrnthe moralists or the Church.rnOn the other hand, in thernlast war the bombing of openrncities was regarded as forbidden.rnNow everybody doesrnit as a matter of course. Itrnis sirrply a question ofrnfashion changing as she doesrnbetween long and shortrnskirts for women.” . . .Herntold Ismay he wanted “arncold-blooded calculationrnmade as to how it would payrnus to use poison gas, byrnwhich I mean principallyrnmustard. We could probablyrndeliver 20 tons to theirrn24/CHRONICLESrnrnrn