One brave Palestinian-American thinks it’s high time Israel honored the U.S. servicemen it massacred aboard a U.S. spy ship and for all the sacrifices this country has made to the security and well-being of the Zionist state.
By Dave Gahary
Ibrahim “Abe” Ayad, a Dearborn, Mich. born and raised American patriot, has decided to convert a parcel of land in Israel, which his family has owned for decades, into a living memorial to the 34 Americans needlessly slaughtered and 174 wounded, while serving aboard the USS Liberty (AGTR-5), by Israeli air and naval forces on June 8, 1967, during the Six-Day War.
Abe sat down with American Free Press, to break the news of this significant announcement, explaining the genesis of it and what he hopes to accomplish.
After his grandfather was killed fighting against the British in World War I, his grandmother was in possession of a lot of property. This rankled the extended family, which took out their jealous frustrations on Ayad’s father, who was just five when his father was killed in battle.
“[She] smuggled him off with his cousin overseas to the United States, running away from his own people,” explained Ayad. As fate would have it, Ayad’s father, like his father before him, would fight in another world war.
“My father wound up in America. World War II had broken out, and he was caught being illegal and they gave him the choice,” said Ayad. “He loved this country so much . . . he volunteered. He was a first-wave lander on Anzio, survived the landing, [and] got wounded during the occupation. He got the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and several others.”
Ayad explained the fascinating story behind how he ended up with this parcel of land in Israel, which dates back to Operation Shingle, or the Battle of Anzio—Jan. 22 to June 5, 1944—in which nearly 15,000 young men paid the ultimate price.
“When [my dad] got wounded, he was lost for three days at a MASH unit during the air war,” said Ayad. “So the Army, in its infinite wisdom, had sent my grandmother a letter telling her he was dead. My grandmother couldn’t read English, so she took it to the village elder [who] told her, ‘Your son is dead.’ And she said, ‘He’s not dead. If he was dead I’d believe it.’ ”
Refusing to believe her only child was dead, she prepared for his return from the war.
“She was working as a nurse at a local hospital and they were trying to trick an old lady whose son they thought had died. They’d come and they’d pawn their land to her,” said Ayad, “and she’d buy it and put it in his name.”
When Ayad’s father eventually returned home, “everybody thought he was a ghost.” As his grandmother had accumulated a significant amount of land, the illegal occupation government of Israel began to make moves on it.
“All of a sudden Israel starts confiscating this land, doing all kinds of stuff to it,” said Ayad. It “was illegally confiscated even according to Israeli law, because it’s occupied territory. It can’t be taxed, and they confiscated it for tax purposes.”
Ayad tried to fight them, but Israel sicced its U.S.-based public relations firm on him.
“I’ve been fighting the Anti-Defamation League for 20 years,” he said, “and they wielded their influence over the [U.S.] Department of Justice. Even James Comey came down personally to oversee their raid against me. They robbed me of over $3 million—and this is my own government, who I pay taxes for, doing all this to me.”
Ayad then discussed his plans for the Liberty memorial, which he first started thinking about five or six years ago.
“I don’t see any memorials in Israel: not for World War I, not for World War II,” he explained. “[Israel owes] the United States so much from two world wars, not counting all the financial and military hardware [it’s] getting from America. I would love to see a USS Liberty Memorial Hospital for all the victims of the Liberty, her crew, and all the victims that suffered after and all the victims that have suffered in two world wars and since. And it’s about time they honor America.”
The land Ayad chose for the memorial “is right off the freeway that links Jerusalem to the rest of Israel, so anybody coming into Jerusalem will have to see [it].” It’s in a suburb of Jerusalem called Beit Hanina.
Beit Hanina, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, is on the road to Ramallah, about five miles north of central Jerusalem. Israel split the village in two with its Israeli West Bank barrier, or wall.
The Zionist state claims the separation barrier—built during a September 2000 uprising against the brutal occupation—protects against terrorism. Palestinians know better, and refer to it as an apartheid wall, as it severely restricts travel and interferes with the ability to earn a living. The United Nations has condemned it and the International Court of Justice found the barrier to be a violation of international law.
Winding its way through villages that have existed for thousands of years, the nearly 500-mile obscenity cuts deep into West Bank territory, leaving around 25,000 Palestinians isolated from their history. Initially introduced as a temporary security measure, the Zionists are using it in a conniving way to draw future political borders between Palestine and the illegal occupation government to ensure peace negotiations never succeed, as well as using another blatantly illegal tactic to swallow more and more of the land that is not theirs.
“This village has about five illegal settlements in it,” Ayad explained.
Ayad explained another reason why he wants the memorial erected.
“I just wanted to do something for all the people who have died and suffered for needless wars, wars to build up the Federal Reserve so it could keep printing money and we could keep paying interest on it,” he added.
But his main reason for the memorial is the unarmed ship that was attacked by a foreign power in international waters and abandoned by its own government for over 50 years.
“It’s an honor for me to be a part of this,” Ayad told this newspaper, “just an absolute honor for me to be involved with anything that has to do with the Liberty. I will do anything I have to do in order to see it succeed, even if I’m out of the picture totally. I’ll use whatever I have against them—and they know what I’ve got—in order to see this project go through. I’m willing to die for it.”
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See the website erasingtheliberty.com for more information.